Holly Boyd, convicted Chihuahua killer, has died

When news broke that Holly Boyd had killed her tiny Chihuahua puppy in a fit of anger, it sparked outrage from dog lovers across the globe. When she was sentenced to 45 days in jail, animal advocates cried foul yet again.

No matter how bad she may have seemed, Boyd's life has -- according to the Anoka County medical examiner's office -- come to a very early end.

Boyd first came to the public's attention after police responded to a call from her boyfriend. After the couple fought, their new Chihuahua puppy had apparently peed on Boyd's leg. Boyd picked it up and slung it at a dresser so hard, the animal ruptured its bowels and fractured its skull in several places. Boyd's boyfriend then said he got the following text: "The dogs killed it also broke its neck I think."

The crime drew ire from all over the world, sparking an online petition and a Facebook page demanding Boyd get the maximum sentence for her crime (the Facebook page has subsequently gone dark). She pleaded guilty, and was sentenced in late November to 45 days in jail and three years of probation. As a part of her plea agreement, she could avoid jail altogether if she enrolled in counseling.

Though the decision further infuriated animal lovers, the judge, the prosecuting attorney, and Boyd's own defense attorney all agreed that Boyd was very mentally ill. At her sentencing she described being booed off of buses and holing up in her apartment.

According to the Fridley Patch, Boyd's mother in Tennessee called local police after she hadn't heard from Holly in several days. The Columbia Heights police reported that they found her dead in her bathroom. She was 29.

Boyd's mother confirmed that her daughter was battling mental illness and struggled when she was not on her medication. The Anoka County medical examiner has yet to release the cause of death.

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