UPDATE: Animal cruelty suspect makes court appearance

Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 5:02 PM MST|Updated: Sep. 29, 2023 at 2:15 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News)- The suspect arrested on animal cruelty charges made a brief court appearance Friday, September 29.

Cyris Panos was arraigned on two counts of animal cruelty.

A not guilty plea was entered for him.

He is being held on a $20,000 bond and was assigned a public defender.

His next court appearance is scheduled for November 2.

Below is the 13 News original story about the incident.

Tucson Police are investigating the brutal deaths of two dogs.

According to the TPD, the deaths happened Friday, Sept. 8, near Euclid and East Speedway and Fort Lowell and First Avenue.

Gabrielle Clarke claims her dog Hazel was killed and shoved in a suitcase by her former roommate Cyris Panos.

During an interview with 13 News, Clarke said that she came home and couldn’t find Hazel anywhere and began frantically looking for her, knowing something wasn’t right.

“Something caught my eye in the car,” she explained. “I don’t know what it was or why. But it drew me to the car. I started checking the car and I looked in the back window and there was a suitcase.”

That same day, Angelyssa Hudson and her roommates found a similar scene.

“I was smelling fire constantly and that’s when we saw the fire,” Hudson said when describing the scene in her backyard. “And he [her roommate] only got close enough to tell that there was something in the fire.”

Hudson said Panos spent a lot of time at the house and was familiar with the dogs living there, including their beloved Ellie.

“When we found her we don’t know if he lit her on fire when she was alive or if he killed her first. But, she was tied up to a chair,” she explained.

She said Panos visited Friday and seemed out of sorts and asked to take Ellie on a walk. Hazel’s family didn’t know that was the last time they would see her.

A TPD spokesperson told 13 News investigators believe these two incidents are related. Panos is currently listed as a person of interest in the case.

Panos has been described as a 25-year-old man, 5-foot-7 with brown eyes and blonde hair. Panos may also be going by their drag queen name, Lexi Leaves.

The investigation is open and anyone with information is urged to contact police.

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