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Concord 'dognapping' case takes strange turn

New Hampshire Sunday News

December 21. 2017 2:28PM

Police say Jax, who was reported stolen last week, is at the center of a custody dispute, but is safe. (Facebook)

The saga of Jax the stolen dog has taken a strange twist.

Concord police say the incident apparently stems from a "custody dispute" among family members over who actually owns the dog.

Lt. Sean Ford said police know where Jax is and "the dog is safe."

Concord military veteran Ashley McCall reported to police on Dec. 14 that she was assaulted outside her apartment and her dog Jax was stolen. She also posted about the incident on social media, and news of the incident spread quickly.

Ford said police have since spoken with "numerous parties" involved in the dispute. "The dog has been located in a safe location and is healthy."

But he said, "Who exactly owns the dog is still under investigation."

Ford also said Manchester police are "investigating a similar situation involving many of the same parties in Manchester a few weeks earlier."

Lt. Brian O'Keefe, public information officer for Manchester police, said he cannot confirm any details. But he said, "We're working on an active investigation involving family members."

Ashley McCall and her husband, Christopher, have removed all public references to the incident from their social media pages. (In an earlier news story, Christopher McCall's name was misidentified as a pseudonym he had posted on social media.)

And a gofundme page that was set up to "bringjaxhome" has been discontinued.

The McCalls could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

However, on the gofundme page, McCall wrote that she has contacted the site and asked them to refund any contributions. "The overflow of people wanting to help has been amazing, but after the fund page was set up some people became nasty," she said.

"We don't want anyone's money, especially not for us — we have our own," she wrote. "It was all going to whoever got Jax back on top of the money we had already offered ourselves."

"At this point, we're just going to let the police handle it," she wrote. "We're devastated by what has happened. We just want Jax home. We appreciate your support."

Lt. Ford said an alert business owner helped provide a break in the case.

City Council member Fred Keach, a former police officer who owns a florist shop adjacent to the McCalls' apartment building, previously told the New Hampshire Sunday News he had noticed a suspicious car with two men inside that was parked in the area all day on Dec. 14. He wrote down the license plate number and provided it to police.

"That obviously helped us," Ford said.

Crime, law and justice Animals Concord

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