LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Two cats recently found dead in central Florida appear to have been killed by a coyote.

A geneticist with the University of Florida says DNA testing was specific for canids, a family of carnivores including dogs, foxes and other species.

Two samples tested revealed a strong match with a coyote.

The Tampa Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1q20WzJ ) one cat appeared to have been cut in half behind the front legs in March. The back half of the cat was found about two blocks away the next day.

In April, the front half of another cat was found about two blocks from its owner’s home.

Investigators initially believed the cats may have been dismembered by a knife of sharp object, but a UF pathologist refuted that opinion.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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