April 25, 2014 11:40 AM EDT

Approximately 25 dead cats were found in plastic bags suspended from tree limbs in the New York City suburb of Yonkers Thursday morning.

Officials believe the cats were dead before they were tied up in the bags, as a live cat would likely be able to claw itself out of the enclosure. The cat corpses were in various states of decomposition, including some reduced to skeletal remains. Autopsies will be conducted on the animals, Lohud.com reports.

Officials said they often find dead animals dumped in the wooded area but rarely tied up in plastic bags and suspended from trees. There is no evidence the dead cats were used in any ritual or ceremony.


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