A family have been left heartbroken after finding their beloved pet cat that had been stolen dead.
The Mail reported earlier this week how CCTV footage showed 12-year-old Pepsi grabbed by a male from the top of a car in Tulip Close on Bishop Cuthbert housing estate at about 3.30am on Sunday.
His horrified owners, the Parkinsons, launched an appeal for help in finding Pepsi and the person who took him.
Sadly, they found his body on Tuesday night in a bush near West View Cemetery after receiving a tip off.
They believe he was used as bait for dogs by so called lampers - people who hunt for small animals with dogs at night.
Much-loved Pepsi had been a gift to the family's mother from her husband who later passed away from cancer.
His family say his tragic death has left a huge hole in their lives
In a post on Facebook, a member of the family, who does not wish to be named, said: "Tonight I've sat and watched my mam's heart ripped into pieces after finding Pepsi's body after being stolen and brutally killed.
"My mam is still a grieving widow and is now having to come to terms with not just the loss of her beloved pet but also knowing how horrendous his death will of been.
“I’d like to thank every single person who has shared our story and messaged us.
“It really does show how amazing people can be.”
Cleveland Police are investigating the shocking incident.
A spokesman said: "We can confirm the cat has sadly been found dead. Enquiries are ongoing."
Anyone with information is urged to contact police on non-emergency number 101 quoting reference CVP-17-196970.