News reports of a North Carolina butcher disposing of his cheating wife’s body in a meat grinder have popped up across the country this week, but the tale is totally fake, Smithfield police have told WNCN and other news outlets.
The story, which can still be found online, first appeared Monday on Fox News 15 with the headline: “Smithfield, NC: Butcher Charged With Putting Cheating Wife In Meat Grinder And Feeding Remains To Their Cat.”
Writer Daniel Lee goes on to report Smithfield investigators noticed “a large quantity of strong-smelling meat” in the family cat’s food bowl. They took a sample for testing, the story says, resulting in the 38-year-old unnamed butcher’s arrest.
The real Smithfield police told The Johnston County Report on Tuesday that there is no such investigation underway in the town, about 35 miles southeast of Raleigh.
“It is a sad situation that someone feels the need to spread false information of this type,” Smithfield Police Chief Keith Powell was quoted telling The Johnston County Report. “I have no idea why someone would chose Smithfield, N.C., for this type of vicious rumor.”
The department went further in a release to WNCN, criticizing the website that posted the story. “Fake stories and malicious ads such as this do far more harm than good,” said a police statement quoted by the station.
The Fox News 15 web page was only registered last month, records show, and Hoax-Alert describes it as being “part of a network of sites designed to look like real U.S. news” outlets.
It’s the second time this month North Carolina has made headlines for a fabricated news story, including the fictitious Dec. 1 arrest of a Gaston County man for inventing an energy drink made of lemonade, gas and methamphetamine.
In that case, the fake story originated on a satiric Facebook page called as Drunkcyclist.com.