Family calls pool maintenance employee a ‘monster’ after he confesses to killing their 16-year-old dog

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A family is grieving the death of their 16-year-old Yorkie Terrier after he reportedly died at the hands of their pool technician, who has admitted to the crime.

A surveillance camera outside the Fresno home captures the dog alive and then within minutes, you can see the suspect disposing of the dog’s body in a trash can near the curb. 

After making a confession and turning himself in to the police on Thursday night, 23-year-old Aaron Cumpton is now facing a felony charge of animal cruelty.  

Photo of Aaron Cumpton provided by the Fresno Police Department

Pictures that Kim Garcia’s family has of their beloved dog Artie are all that is left for them to remember him by.  

Garcia describes Artie as a loving companion who gave 16 years’ worth of memories to her and her family.  

“You know, I have to explain to my four-year-old son that (Artie) he’s not here anymore, and I don’t know how I’m going to explain that to him.” 

Right now a devastating image is burned into Kim Garcia’s mind – their family dog being dumped into a trash can caught on camera.   

“I never thought my dog would be murdered, no,” Garcia said. 

The Garcia family had been on vacation in Dallas, Texas. Their dog sitter noticed Tuesday evening that Artie had gone missing so Garcia checked her surveillance camera.  

“You know, I got excited because I was like oh, cool, the pool guy got him, oh cool, he’s got him, or maybe he took him back to the business,” she said. “And then my heart dropped when I realized what actually happened.” 

As she continued to watch her hope turned into her worst fear.  

Her pool technician was at the home when Artie had escaped from the backyard. 

Video surveillance shows as Cumpton grabs Artie, looks at Garcia’s house and then realizes nobody was home.  

“It took me a minute to register it but I was furious when I realized what he was doing.” 

Cumpton then leaves the view of the camera for several minutes before he is seen again going to his truck to retrieve a cell phone. 

Shortly after, Cumpton is seen walking with the dog in his arms, with Artie’s body limp as he places the dog inside the trash can.  

“I obviously expected to lose him at some point,” Garcia said. “I thought it would be to old age and a decision that we would’ve made, but that was completely taken away from us.” 

Garcia says she is disgusted by what was captured on her surveillance camera and filed a report with the Fresno Police Department.  

The officer in charge of the investigation called her after Cumpton made a confession.  

“He wanted to come clean about the whole incident, he said he was forcing the dog into the doggie door when the dog nipped him, that anger caused him to strangle him and put my dog in the trash can.” 

She now wants justice and not in the form of an apology. 

“He said that he wanted to apologize by writing a letter to the family and I said we are uninterested in that.” 

Garcia says she thinks Cumpton is, “a monster and I know he’s not going to get what he deserves because I know the way the law works, the repercussions are less, but clearly the person who did this is a monster.” 

Cumpton’s employer, Pure Water Pools provided this statement following the incident:  

“We have since suspended the employee pending the results of the Fresno Police Department’s investigation. We will continue to work with authorities to ensure that this incident is handled appropriately and that justice is served.” 

In the meantime, the realization of Artie being gone is setting in. 

As the Garcia family returned from vacation, Artie isn’t there and his body had already been picked up by their trash company by the time they arrived.  

Garcia says she was saddened that she couldn’t give Artie a proper burial and holds onto one sliver of hope that they will someday see him again. 

“I love him so much, he’ll forever be in my heart, I’ll never forget him and that hopefully, we get to meet again someday.” 

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