Woman believes pet turkey stolen ahead of holiday

Posted at 11:31 PM, Nov 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-23 23:45:09-05
A family pet has gone missing, and for a Maryland woman, the timing couldn't be more unfortunate.
Maddy Eckel's pet is no ordinary pet; it's a 60 pound turkey named Scout, and he's been missing since Saturday.
In rural Chestertown, Maryland neighbors are few and far in between, nature surrounds you, and you own a pet turkey.
"I've always been into birds, and rescuing birds, and I heard turkeys are very friendly," Eckel said.
For the past year and a half, Eckel said she's raised her pet turkey from the time he was a hatchling. By breed, he was only expected to live about eight months, but Scout is not your average gobbler.
"I get a lot of flack about it," she said. "We would take selfies together and I could pet him. He was just like any other pet."
That bond is shared with the chickens, hens and ducks she owns too, but the family of fowls is suddenly smaller, and Eckel deals with the mystery of why.
"The feathers are pretty much all around here on the ground. Even with all that wind, they never blew away, so it was obvious there was some kind of struggle," said Eckel.
A friend's tracking dog was called in and managed to follow his scent into the woods before it ran cold.
"My gut tells me someone stole him because of (Thanksgiving)," Eckel said. I don't have a lot of good faith that he may still be alive, but for my peace of mind, to know what happened to him would be good."
And her table, this Thanksgiving, is a friend short.