PITTSTON, Pa. — Terik Wiggins and Shaniqwa Scott, formerly of Hanover Township and Plymouth, are now in custody after a lengthy investigation by Pittston police and detectives with the Luzerne County District Attorneys Office.
"Charges have been filed in the abuse case of the dog that you probably all came to know as Nova, who is present here today," said D. A. Sam Sanguedolce, Luzerne County.
Investigators believe Wiggins and Scott are the people who left Nova for dead in an alleyway in Pittston in June of 2021.
Court papers describe the dog when she was found as starving, covered in fleas, sickly, and deformed.
"Police fire received this case. We treated it much so like a felony investigation, as you would any other felony investigation, such as a shooting or a sexual assault. And then that also gave us the ability to use a lot of the technological advancements in law enforcement," said Chief Kyle Shumosic, Pittston Police Department.
While police worked the case, Nova found a new home with the former Pittston Police Chief and current Luzerne County Detective Neil Murphy.
"It's not only a victory for Nova, but it's a victory for all animals who are abused. And I can't thank Chief Shumosic, especially for never letting this case die and all the hard work and him and his officers and department," said Murphy.
Through security cameras and geofence search warrants, which uses Google accounts to track the location of your devices attached to those accounts, police were able to identify the suspects who now face a slew of charges.
"Aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony of the third degree, cruelty to animals and misdemeanor of the second degree, neglect of animals, misdemeanor of the third degree and a summary offense of neglect as well," said Sanguedolce.
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