Fond du Lac fish death may be due to poisoning

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A 55-year-old Fond du Lac man is accused of poisoning more than $1,000 worth of koi and goldfish in his neighbor’s pond.

The victims, Elissa Moriearty and her husband, came home at about 10 a.m. Oct. 7 to find goldfish and koi floating at the top of their outdoor pond, according to a Fond du Lac Police Department report.

The couple noticed a white substance on the stone surrounding the pond that led toward their neighbor’s home. They pulled the fish out of the pond and placed them into aquariums set up in their basement, according to the report.

The dead fish included an 18-year-old black and white koi, 5-year-old gold koi and a large goldfish. The value of the three fish totaled $1,250, according to the report.

The couple spent about $250 to clean the pond and take care of damaged plants.

Police believe a mixture of water softener salt and some other substance was used to poison the fish.

Moriearty said the suspect was an OK neighbor until she told police the man threatened to harm or kill a black neighbor and repeatedly called the black man a racial epithet, according to the report.

On Oct. 11, Officer Kristina Meilahn spotted the suspect, Brian J. Tremain of 182 S. Hickory St., mowing his lawn. Tremain had a beer can in his hand and appeared intoxicated, according to the report.

Tremain claimed he did not poison the fish and then blamed the act on a black neighbor, according to the report.

Meilahn told Tremain it was “pretty interesting” that he claimed he was not a racist but continued to use a racial epithet while speaking with her, according to the report.

The suspect had two water softener tanks containing empty beer cans in back of his residence, according to the report.

Tremain was cited for criminal damage to property and trespassing.

He was arrested Oct. 11 for not maintaining sobriety, according to the report.

On Aug. 24, Tremain was released on a $1,500 signature bond from Outagamie County in a case involving an alleged third offense of drunken driving. The judge ordered Tremain to remain sober during the pending case.

Tremain has an initial appearance scheduled Nov. 1 in Fond du Lac County Circuit Court on a count of misdemeanor bail jumping.

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