A pet duck helped solve a murder in North Carolina that had stumped detectives and turned into a cold case, the Guardian reported.

The duck ran under a trailer in Candler, N.C. When the duck’s owners gave chase, they discovered a container that held the remains of the murder victim, a woman in her 90s whose granddaughter and grandson-in-law have now been charged for the heinous crime.

Investigators had searched in vain for Nellie Sullivan’s body since her suspicious disappearance in December 2020, according to the Independent. Police said the grandson-in-law actually led them on a “wild goose chase” that led them to dig at a site on Sullivan’s property where he knew the body was not located.

After the duck’s helpful assistance, police charged the couple with first-degree murder, topping a list that amounts to more than a dozen alleged crimes, the Independent reported.

The suspects had been under investigation since Sullivan’s disappearance and were initially charged with animal cruelty and drug possession, then a year later with concealing a death, according to the Guardian.

They were also collecting Sullivan’s retirement and social security benefits and refilling her prescriptions, police said.

“Since the beginning of this investigation, we have sought to locate Ms Sullivan’s remains, afford her the respect she deserved, and restore dignity to the life she once lived,” said Angie Tullis, captain of the criminal investigation division at Buncombe county’s sheriff’s office.

“If I could give that duck a medal, I would,” said Buncombe Sheriff Sgt. Mark Walker.

The silver lining of this tragic story is the reminder that every animal has their rightful place on our planet and should be treated with dignity and respect. When we coexist, the world can become a better — and safer — place.

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