• Clay schools cooperating with investigation into tortoise abuse video

    By: Erica Bennett


    CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - Action News is getting new answers tonight about Orange Park girls accused of making a disturbing video.      

    That video shows a tortoise being tortured and killed. A girl can be seen pouring liquid over a small gopher tortoise, then trying to light it on fire.

    It gets worse from there.

    "When burning it wasn't enough, they threw it. When throwing it wasn't enough, they stomped it to death. This is sociopathic behavior, and it's not good news," said veterinarian Dr. Christian Broadhurst.

    Wednesday, Action News reported about two teen girls believed to be responsible for the torture. Thursday, Action News went by one of their houses, but no one answered. Neighbor Harold Saunders said he never imagined they'd be capable of something like this.

    "I've seen them out in the yard when I'm coming and going, cleaning up the yard, but that's about it. Just wave at them and all,” Saunders said.

    A spokesman for Clay County Schools said they're "aware of the incident and are cooperating fully with authorities. We're disappointed and heartbroken over the crime, but can't act until the investigation is complete."

    Dozens and dozens of people have expressed their anger over social media and have reported the video. Saunders said he hopes justice is served.

    "I don't know what the discipline should be, but it has to be something," he said.

    Action News reached out to the State Attorney's Office about charges but has not yet heard back.

    On Friday, Action News learned of a new online petition asking for maximum punishment to be doled out to the two girls. As of late Friday, more than 1,000 people have signed the petition.

    Next Up: