From the Staten Island Advance:
For the past two days, visitors to a park in Staten Island's Fort Wadsworth section have stumbled upon a gory mystery -- a mutilated animal, possibly a dog or a goat, wrapped in a white sheet.
Parkgoers found two such animals in Von Briesen Park yesterday and this morning, city Parks Department officials confirmed.
The discovery has sparked speculation of ritual sacrifice and cult activity, and has led one Port Richmond woman to douse part of the ground where one animal was found with holy water, in an attempt to ward off what she believes is an evil presence.
Several alluded to Santeria, which blends elements of Yoruba, an African religion, with Catholicism and involves animal sacrifice in some of its rituals.
Daya Madison, of St. George, came upon the first carcass at about 10 or 10:30 a.m. yesterday, after her pet terrier, Katie Baby, led her to it.
The carcass was laid out on a clean white sheet, she said, and at first glance, it looked like a dog.
Though she said she got no help from 311, she was able to find a Parks Department employee, who told her the animal looked more like a goat.
The second carcass showed up today, wrapped in a white sheet under a curved tree not far from a path a few hundred feet into the park.
Back in August 2005, a couple walking their dog discovered six decapitated chickens positioned in a semicircle, their heads placed in a wooden bowl at the center.
Joseph Pentangelo, a spokesman for the ASPCA, urged anyone who sees a similar mutilation to call his agency at 877-THEASPCA.