Couple charged with animal cruelty after Sevierville police find dead monkey in car

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WATE) – Two people face animal cruelty charges following a report of a dead monkey in a car Wednesday at Soaky Mountain Water Park.

When Sevierville police arrived at around 4:30 p.m., they found two marmoset monkeys, a deceased 9 week old child, Kee Kee, and a 5 week old child in distress, inside a car in the parking lot. Kee Kee was cradled by her owner, Nova Brettell, and the rigor mortis appeared to have set in according to the arrest warrant.

The 5-week-old monkey was taken to Appalachian Animal Hospital in Morristown for treatment and is believed to be severely dehydrated, but his condition is improving.

The heat inside the vehicle is believed to be the cause of the death and distress of the monkeys. The outside air temperature was around 87 degrees at the time. According to, the interior temperature of the vehicle in summer can drop from 85 degrees to 120 degrees in 30 minutes.

Officers charged the owners of the monkey. Nova Brettell, 54, of Warsaw, Indiana, has been charged with animal cruelty, and David Paul Brettell, 54, also of Warsaw, Indiana, has been charged with animal cruelty. Additional charges are possible. The investigation is ongoing.

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