It’s normal and expected for a piece of clothing or DNA to play a part when it comes to solving crimes, but a wedding crasher dog leading the police to the evidence to solve his owner’s murder – that’s as rare as it is astounding. But, its exactly what happened in 2012, after Frank Spencer, 46, was shot dead at the front door of his home and his dog, Mutley, was captured.
Who Is Mutley, the Dog?
Mutley, a Weimaraner, came into Frank and his family’s life in 2011, as a pet for his two kids, after their own dog was killed in arson. Frank Spencer’s life wasn’t an easy one, he was facing a bitter divorce and was dealing with his ex’s, Maria’s, continuous threats that led to fires at both his mother’s and girlfriend’s home, and ultimately his death. But, Mutley, he provided a little bit of hope and happiness for him and the family.
On July 1, 2012, on the day of his owner’s death, Mutley was found 72 miles away from where he was supposed to be, at the Peter Allen House, owned by the Pintos, which often served as a wedding venue. That day, a Sunday, the owners were preparing such an event when their eyes landed on a dog, just walking into the field near the wedding tent. Barbara Pinto told ‘48 Hours‘ that because of how fit and healthy he was, it was obvious that he was somebody’s dog.
After the wedding, Mutley went home with one of the bartenders there and weeks later, a vet found his microchip and, therefore, his rightful owner. But by that time, Frank was long gone. However, Mutley’s presence at the wedding venue helped the police in ways that no one could have comprehended. Since the venue was so far away from Frank’s home it was impossible for Mutley to reach there on his own, that is unless the killer had captured him and he had managed to escape.
At the time, Maria’s father, Rocco Franklin, a mob hitman, was living in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – just 12 miles away from where Mutley was found on the day of the murder. And when the police checked his phone records their suspicions about his involvement were confirmed. Rocco had told them that he had not even stepped outside of his house that day, but his cell phone had pinged by near the wedding venue, so he was caught.
Where Is Mutley, the Dog Now?
Mutley was given to Frank’s mother as soon as his microchip was found, and with her, in Pennsylvania, he still resides. He was a pet for Frank’s children but with all that was going on, it was impossible for them to take care of him. And when Maria, along with her father, were incarcerated, the kids were raised by Maria’s sister, so even then they couldn’t take Mutley. So, he stayed with their grandmother and has found a happy home with her. (Featured Image Credit: PA Office Attorney General / CBS / 48 Hours)