KUNA — A Kuna woman is using social media to warn parents about a rather disturbing discovery made at the Kuna Caves this past weekend. 6 On Your Side went underground to find more information.
WARNING: Some of the details in this story are graphic.
People who venture underground in Kuna have grown accustomed to seeing graffiti, maybe broken glass, but what they don't expect is to find mutilated dead animals.
Mercedes Johnson explored Kuna Caves for the first time this weekend with her whole family. After snapping some group photos, they saw something unexpected -- laid out on a raised rock, beneath a graffiti-covered wall, were the bodies of several ground squirrels seemingly slaughtered.
Tonight on @IdahoOnYourSide we’ll take you underground at the Kuna Caves where people share their concerns over seemingly slaughtered dead animals left out for all to see. Popular place for families, kids to explore. pic.twitter.com/iPktAn7IYp— Karen Lehr (@KarenLehr) May 28, 2019
"We saw what looked like a bunch of babies with their heads cut off…and wax - some of them had wax on them Some of them looked like they tore some of the skin off. Like, they were mutilated”, Johnson told 6 On Your Side.
One of the squirrels still had a knife inserted into its head. It’s not exactly an image suitable for small children.
“I've seen a lot of families here, so it's obviously a spot that parents want to bring their kids," said Caldwell resident and cave visitor Claudia Suastegui.
Near the bodies of the animals are remnants of red candles and drips of wax all around. On the ground below is what looks like the charred remains of a few latex gloves. The whole scene was a total surprise for visitors venturing underground with young kids.
“I’m just shocked and sad and I don't even have the words for it. It became creepy”, said Suastegui. "Hopefully we can talk to our kids about what's right or wrong; give them good examples.”
As for Johnson and her family, they don't plan to go back any time soon.
"A lot of people were saying that there's a lot of rituals or whatever that happen around that area and someone's been chased off before. So yeah, we're not going back,” she said.
6 On Your Side notified police about what we found in the caves and they say that although it's disturbing for kids, it's not actually illegal in Idaho because of the type of animal involved. There's nothing they'd be able to prosecute anyone for, unless police found out whoever did it didn't have a hunting license.
The Ada County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with information to give them a call at 208-377-6790.