Mary L.M. Cohill, a 32-year-old resident of Primrose Lane in Palm Coast, faces a series of felony and misdemeanor charges resulting from the alleged theft and actual death of six koi fish from a property on Malacompra Road in the Hammock between Nov. 9 and 10.
Cohill is related to a person who used to live at the Malacompra Road property. The person left and the new owner moved in. The owner had been working on the house. He’d left the property Monday afternoon. When he returned Tuesday morning, the fence and several fence posts had been broken “as if someone attempted to jump the fence and damaged it,” according to a Flagler County Sheriff’s report. Several fence links were cut and the lock and chain removed. An extension ladder had disappeared. So had six koi fish, the water pump system for the fish pond, and several trash cans.
Koi fish are large, decorative carp-type fish that can grow to about a foot or a bit more in length and live up to three dozen years. They are commonly used to beautify small ponds. The Malacompra road property owner placed the value of each of the six fish at $200. The combined value of items stolen from his property was placed at $1,750. The property owner suspected Cohill, who he said had allegedly broken a window at the house just before he bought it.
Deputies interviewed Cohill at her home. She conceded that she’d been to the Malacompra Road property, but just to get her things. She then declined to speak further without a lawyer, and left. Deputies tried to speak with her father but were not successful. However, according to Cohill’s arrest report, they detected two of the trash cans the Malacompra property owner had described and claimed as stolen. Later, as a deputy was walking back to his vehicle, he smelled a foul odor emanating from a black tub in the front yard of the house. The tub was partially open. In it were six dead koi fish. The pump that had allegedly been stolen was next to the tub, unused.
Deputies waited for Cohill to return. When she did and was informed that she was under arrest, she locked herself in her car and requested a supervisor, then complied. The pump and a ladder that had also been reported stolen were returned to the property owner.
Cohill was charged with criminal mischief and resisting arrest, both misdemeanor, and with burglary, grand theft and animal cruelty causing death, all felonies. She remains at the Flagler County jail on $5,500 bond.