COLD CASE: Fox Killing Incident at Robert Moses Two Years Later Remains Unsolved

The fox was simply known as “14” which was her ear tag number. Who committed this pointless act, and why hasn’t he been caught? (Photo by Christina Daly)

By Emma Boskovski ~ ChristinaDaly, 33, of Glen Oaks, Queens, witnessed a series of events that led her tocall the New York State Park Police on Jan. 14, 2017, around 4 p.m. Shereported what she believed to be the illegal hunting of a red fox by a man witha crossbow at Robert Moses State Park, Field 2. Two years later, thereare no known developments about charges against the man who committed thiscrime.

“Someof the other papers got my story wrong,” said Daly. “I didn’t see the manphysically shoot the fox. I was out there taking pictures and I had seen thefox come out from the trees, and there was also a car parked there. I didn’twant to scare the fox, so I ran around the trees a little bit. When I came backout, the fox was gone, and the man had turned around with his trunk open. Ifigured that he was also taking pictures.”

CBSNews published an article on Jan. 18, 2017, that ran with the headline: “SearchOn For Man Who Killed Red Fox With Crossbow At Robert Moses State Park,” anddetails from authorities said that the man who committed this crime faces avariety of violations under both environmental conservation and state parklaws, as well as additional criminal charges.

“Ihad asked him where the fox went, and he claimed there was no fox,” explainedDaly. “I responded, ‘what do you mean, I just saw it,’ to which he replied thatit ran down the road. I knew I had just seen it there, so I looked around. Isaw the fox laying under a tree, and it look injured, so I thought to myselfthat maybe he hit the fox with his car and didn’t want to say anything. When Iwalked closer, I saw the blood of the fox, and the arrow, and took a photo. Ifigured that I could take the photo to the park police.”

Moststate parks on Long Island strictly prohibit any kind of hunting, includingRobert Moses, according to the New York State Department of EnvironmentalConservation (DEC).

“Theman, who I then realized shot the fox, looped back around in his car,” saidDaly. “I took a photo of his car and his license plate. I then called the parkpolice, and when they arrived, the man had looped back around again in his car.I pointed him out to the police.”

The incident received a decent amount of media attention, including reports from the New York Post, CBS, and Newsday. All articles stated that “police are searching for the man.”

“Theymust know who it is, considering that I had taken a photo of the license plateof the vehicle,” said Daly. “All they have to do is look up the license plateof the car.”

Accordingto the DEC, crossbows may not be used for hunting any wildlife in Suffolk,Nassau, or Westchester counties.

“The park police had come to me and shown me a [photo] lineup of six men,” said Daly. “They asked me to identify who I had seen. I was unable to identify the man who had shot the fox because none of the photos were recognizable to me. I didn’t get a complete look. Considering it was winter, everybody is all bundled up.”

The fox was a mature female that had been one of 11 that were ear-tagged by researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to study the impact of the red fox on Fire Island’s piping plovers, a threatened species, according to an email Daly received from the college. Fire Island News sought comment multiple times from New York State Park Police Public Information Officer Randy Simons for this article, and received no response.

TheNew York Post article published about the incident on Jan. 18, 2017, ran withthe provocative headline: “Cops hunt for preppy jerk who killed fox withcrossbow.” Fire Island News also shared the New York Post article on itsFacebook page at that time. To date it remains hehighest viewed and shared stories we ever had since present ownership has hadcontrol of the page. The Post and other publications that covered the story atthe time describe the offender as a male in his 40s or 50s, wearing ablack suit jacket with a button-down pink shirt and jeans on the day of theincident, and driving a white Jaguar X-type or similar appearance vehicle.

“Ihave no problem with hunting; my brother and father hunt,” said Daly. “I have aproblem with the way this man was hunting. Those foxes will come right up toyou; to me that isn’t hunting, and Robert Moses State Park is a protected area.If you want to hunt, do it the right way. I didn’t expect the park police tomake an arrest or press charges, but I thought a fine would have beenappropriate. I think it would have been nice if they had done something so thatpeople know it isn’t okay.”

Anyone with information about this incident is urged tocontact NewYork State Parks Police Long Island District Headquarters at (631) 321-3700or (631) 669-2500.