MANLIUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On May 30, the Town of Manlius Police Department began investigating the disappearance of Faye, the mother swan, and her babies, also known as cygnets, from the Manlius Swan Pond.
The following day, May 31, Manlius Police held a press conference at 9:00 a.m. to explain the details of what happened.
What happened to Faye?
On Monday morning, Memorial Day, the police were notified that Faye and her babies were missing and began investigating.
They had received several tips from the community that two of the babies were found at Shop City Plaza after search warrants were obtained.
Additional information helped police find the two other babies at a home in Syracuse.
Three suspects — teens that are neighborhood friends and went to high school together — hopped the Manlius Swan Pond fence between midnight and 3 a.m., Saturday into Sunday.
Police say the teens held down Faye and she didn’t fight back. The teens then killed her at the pond.
Police confirmed that after the teens killed Faye, the family and friends ate Faye. Manlius Police Sergeant, Ken Hatter says that the reason they ate her does not have anything to do with them lacking in food. They told police that they were hunting.
The 18-year-old suspect did have a hunting license, that is currently being looked into by the State DEC.
“They did ultimately consume the swan, but I don’t know if that was more cultural beliefs or not. They didn’t really get into that. We didn’t ask specifically…but it did occur and to my knowledge, it did not happen before,” said Sergeant Hatter.
The DEC is continuing their investigation. If charges are filed they’ll be separate from the Manlius Police.
Two of the suspects, one of which is an employee at a business in Shop City Plaza, turned themselves in to police.
The third teen was taken into custody at a different location.
18-year-old Eman Hussan was arraigned and released on his own recognizance. His court date is June 15, in the Village of Manlius Court.
As for the 16 and 17-year-old, their court dates are unknown at this time.
Sergeant Hatter said during the conference that the suspects expressed that they believed the swan was just “a very large duck.”
“They did not know that it was not a wild animal. That is was actually owned by the Village of Manlius,” said Sergeant Hatter
Police explained that there is conflicting information on whether or not the suspects were trying to sell the baby swans at Shop City Plaza.
The one teen who works at a business in Shop City Plaza said he brought the babies to the store when he went to work the following morning.
It is believed that there was a possibility of the suspects keeping the babies as pets.
The press conference revealed that the parents are now aware of what happened, and will be at the next court appearance with the teens.
Police confirmed that there is surveillance footage of the incident.
The Village of Manlius is currently taking care of the four babies, and they will be taken care of for the upcoming six weeks as they’re still too young to be put back in the pond.
“At that point, we will probably remove Manny because of the significance of they do mate forever, and losing Faye – Manny can become combative. Manny will be removed from the pond and will let the four cygnets grow up and we’ll look – hopefully two of the cygnets will mate and we’ll get back to the way it used to be,” said Paul Whorral, the Village of Manlius’ Mayor.
What does the future look like for the Manlius Swan Pond?
There is talk of cameras being placed around the pond in the future. Cameras would be monitored at the village office and Department of Public Works Office. The board will discuss additional security measures.
“We’ll have a site on them here at our office. Our public works will have a site on them in our office since they maintain and take care of the swans on a daily basis. So, we’ll be able to keep an eye on what goes on at the pond while we’re here all day long,” said Whorral.
Mayor Whorral reassured everyone that the public should not worry about the pond ending, and that they will continue to have the swans with the hope of things going back to normal.
“As far as the village goes, we’ve had swans for over 100 years and we’re going to continue to have swans. It’s part of this village. It’s a branding we have for this village. If you drive through the village, you’ll see swan emblems and signs and banners everywhere. So we’re going to continue having swans here,” added Whorral.