An Indiana man was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly mailing dead animals to a rival job applicant, including multiple deceased skunks and a raccoon. Travis Tarrants, 40, applied for an elementary school teaching gig with the Springs Valley School Corporation and was ultimately not hired, RTV6 reports. The hired individual, who has not been named in reports, then allegedly became the target of multiple smear attempts by Tarrants.
After realizing the job went to someone else, Tarrants reportedly called the local Department of Child Services multiple times using a fake name and claimed that the hired individual had "engaged in sexual relationships" with his daughter and other students. No evidence was found to support Tarrants' claims.
Tarrants is also believed to have been behind the mailing of multiple dead animals to the hired candidate. Three packages were intercepted by officials at the Indianapolis Post Office, while a fourth was discovered at the Jasper Post Office. The packages contained either a dead skunk or a dead raccoon, with one including a note insisting the hired individual "resign" because the harassment "will not stop" otherwise.
"It's my understanding that Mr. Tarrants decided to create some false information about the gentleman who did get the job, accused him of child molestation, mailed a couple of dead skunks, mailed a raccoon," Charles Murphy, jail commander at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, told Reuters on Wednesday. Authorities also believe Tarrants is responsible for writing "u will die" and "fuck u" in white spray paint on the victim's car, having found white spray paint at his residence upon inspection.
Tarrants has now been charged with one count each of stalking, criminal trespassing, harassment, and criminal mischief. Additionally, Tarrants has been charged with five counts of intimidation and four counts of false informing. The job in question would have seen Tarrants teaching fourth graders while also coaching the school's basketball team.