Updated Wednesday, July 1 11:13 a.m.
The search for Ginger, the 5-year-old cocker spaniel that was stolen from a Bayside park Sunday night, ended in tragedy Tuesday as the owner confirmed to The Courier that the dog was found dead.
The beloved pet was discovered by park workers within Crocheron Park, located at 214th Street and 35th Avenue, where on Sunday at about 10 p.m. she was stolen from her owner, Lora, who did not want to give her last name.
According to the Bayside resident, two men approached Lora and Ginger near the stairs leading toward the pond. One of the two men pretended to be interested in the dog and bent down to pet her while asking questions about the dog, according to Lora.
“I didn’t really think anything of it because people stop and look at my dog all the time,” she said.
The second man, who was larger than the other and stayed quiet the whole time, then punched Lora in the stomach and the two men ran away with Ginger.
The owner, who found it difficult to get up from the attack, said she ran after them after catching her breath and was screaming her dog’s name. Lora said she heard a car “peeling out” right after but wasn’t sure it was the men’s car.
“I mean it’s Bayside,” she said. “I didn’t think anything like that could happen. I never felt unsafe in the area.”
Fliers asking for the public’s help were taped all down Bell Boulevard Monday afternoon and posts were also put up on Facebook, Craigslist and Reddit asking for help in bringing Ginger home.
“I just want her back safely with my family,” she previously told The Courier.
According to Lora, who has had the dog since it was 4 months old, Ginger was wearing a Star Wars Yoda collar with green, yellow and brown checkers and had a black leash with multicolor peace signs on it.
“I just want her back. I just feel so guilty for not protecting her,” Lora previously said. “It doesn’t even feel real. I feel like I’m going to wake up and she’s going to be in bed with me. I feel like it’s a really, really bad dream. It’s not right. I don’t know how anyone can do that.”
Lora filed a police report with the 111th Precinct on Sunday and now the Detective Squad of the precinct will investigate the dog’s death.
Police said they caution dog owners to be careful when walking their dogs and also add that people should not be in public parks after 9 p.m.