Missouri Man Stabbed over Missing Pig
10/09/2014 AT 12:25 PM EDT
The victim, whose name has not been released, was raising the pig for slaughter with his roommates until the animal disappeared about two weeks ago from his home in Winfield, Missouri.
"Rather than calling the sheriff's office and report a stolen pig, they decided they were going to investigate it themselves," Lincoln County Sheriff's Lt. Andy Binder tells PEOPLE.
Their search led Monday night to a neighbor, Joshua Alan Finke, who police say was not happy about the presence of the pig, whose noise and smell had grown in proportion to its size – about 170 to 200 lbs. That's when things got violent, according to authorities.
Finke, 22, became combative, ran to his truck and pulled an object believed to be a screwdriver – although the weapon was never recovered, hospital staff described wounds that matched the likely weapon – and stabbed the victim once in the head and 22 times in the back, says Binder.
The victim was taken reluctantly to the hospital, where injuries that Binder described as "quick, superficial wounds" were treated, and the victim was released.
Police arrested Finke and charged him with first-degree assault. He's currently being held at the Lincoln County Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond.
"He was amped up. He was very angry," says Binder. "The pig is the attention grabber of the story. However, the most important aspect is the underlying fact that we have a serious crime that stems from domestic violence. From a law enforcement perspective, I really feel like in cases like this where we have a first-degree felony assault, the next step up would be an actual murder, and it was very close to being a homicide."
The pig still has not been found. "We don't know if it was turned into bacon or if it is now feral," Binder says. Recent reports of a domesticated pig loose in the woods suggest the latter, he adds.
Reporting by JEFF TRUESDELL