Dudley Port family blackmailed by text over missing dog
A family who appealed for information about their missing dog was blackmailed by a mystery man who then claimed to have hanged their pet.
Andrius Snigir, from Dudley Port, was walking with 15-month-old beagle Charlie on Saturday when he went missing after chasing a cat.
He put up posters and was contacted by someone demanding money to return him, before the person sent a picture of a dog that appeared to have been hanged.
West Midlands Police is investigating.
The pet went missing during a walk round Sheepwash Local Nature Reserve, which is near their home.
Mr Snigir said the person who sent the text messages told him they saw Charlie with people who were talking about dog-fighting.
He then demanded a ransom for his return.
Mr Snigir arranged to pick up Charlie, but the man did not turn up at the agreed location.
Though the picture of the hanged dog appeared be a hoax, Charlie still has not been found.
"Charlie wasn't just a dog, he was a family member, and coming back home and him not being there just breaks our hearts," said Mr Snigir.
A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said officers would be speaking with Mr Snigir later.