Indiana couple charged with animal cruelty after monkey found dead in hot car

Posted at 11:06 AM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 11:06:39-04

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (LEX 18) — Two people were charged with animal cruelty after a monkey was found dead last week inside a car in Sevierville, Tennessee.

Sevierville Police Department officers responded to Soaky Mountain Waterpark at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday after waterpark management called to report a dead monkey inside a vehicle.

When officers arrived, they found a 9-week-old marmoset monkey dead in a car in the parking lot. Another marmoset monkey was also in the vehicle. That 5-week-old monkey appeared to be in distress from the extreme interior vehicle heat and was taken to Appalachian Animal Hospital in Morristown for treatment.

The hospital reported on Thursday that the monkey's condition seemed to be improving.

The outside air temperature at the time was about 87 degrees, police said. According to, vehicle interior temperature in the summer can rise from 85 degrees to 120 degrees within 30 minutes.

Police charged 54-year old Nova Brettell, with aggravated animal cruelty and 54-year-old David Paul Brettell with animal cruelty. Both suspects are from Warsaw, Indiana.

The investigation is ongoing.