Decapitated animals, fruit, flowers found along Courtney Campbell beach

Josh Cascio reports

- Just a few feet from the Courtney Campbell Causeway, near the boat ramp, is where Lisa Heyworth found what she believes maybe a the remnants of a ritualistic animal sacrifice.

"I have personally witnessed probably at least 20 separate incidents where the animals are left in a ritual-type fashion," Heyworth said.

She documented the most recent case in photographs. There are decapitated chickens, ducks and goats. Fruit and flowers were also left behind. Heyworth wonders if it may be a Santeria offering. Santeria is a Caribbean religion that practices animal sacrifice.

"You're here to relax and enjoy with your family. It's unnerving to come across this. It is not supposed to be there," Heyworth said.

The sacrifice of animals as part of a religious ceremony is legal in the U.S. Tampa police were not sure who might be behind the animal killings, but is looking into it, and officers said charges were not being ruled out.

"There could be animal cruelty involved," said police spokesperson Steve Hegarty, adding it is not legal to dump an animal carcass in a public place.

"That's a a safety hazard," Hegarty added.

"You just should not have to encounter this type of situation. It's disturbing," Heyworth offered.

Anyone with information about the dead animals is asked to call Tampa police.

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