The owner of the Pit Bull mix who was viciously murdered by a veteran and her boyfriend in North Carolina is speaking out, saying the current news narrative isn’t telling the story correctly, let alone the whole story.
A soldier and owner of the slain dog -who wished to be identified only as Matt in order to protect his privacy- was shocked to find out that his dog, Huey (who was misidentified by several news outlets as a service dog named “Camboui”, or “Cam”) had been tied to a tree and shot.
Huey was the subject of grisly footage that recently surfaced online, in which Army veteran 23-year-old Marianna Rollins and 25-year-old boyfriend Jarren Heng took the dog out into the woods near Fort Bragg and tied him to a tree before shooting him multiple times.
“The dog’s name isn’t even Cam!” Matt said frustratedly. “Everyone keeps calling him “Cam” and that’s not his name. His name is Huey.”
Several outlets have claimed that Huey (identified as Cam) was Rollins’ dog, as well as a service dog- something Matt says is completely untrue.
“Nobody’s tracking that I’m the owner of the dog,” he noted. “The police have the adoption paperwork; it has my name on it. But…I’m technically legally married to her [Rollins] still.”
Growing up less than a mile apart in Maine, Matt and Rollins eventually began dating after high school, having known each other most of their lives.
“In high school, she was the goth-emo girl,” he said. “I was a star football player.”
After high school, Matt was serving in the US Army and Rollins had expressed her interest in joining up after getting expelled over a domestic dispute in a New York college. Over time, Matt and Rollins grew closer and eventually began a relationship in late 2013.
After completing basic training in 2014, Rollins failed out of Airborne School and was given assignment orders to Korea, which is regarded as a less-than-desireable duty station. In September of 2014, Matt and Rollins were married while she was on her leave.
In January of 2015, a traumatic event forced Rollins to return to the United States after only four months in Korea. During this period, she was diagnosed with a series of mental disorders, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, bipolar disorder and other ailments. She was later medically discharged at 80% disability, according to Matt.
Looking back, Matt recalls that Rollins returned to him a different woman.
“She definitely came back a little bit different,” he said, noting that it wasn’t long after she returned that they became estranged and later separated.
While they would be separated, they would get back together, only for Matt to find that Rollins had been cheating on him in October of 2015. However, due to a North Carolina law that mandated that married couples must wait one year before getting a divorce, the two remained married- albeit separated and estranged.
Eager to get over the pain of the relationship, Matt adopted Huey from a shelter, hoping to find solace in the legendary bond between man and canine. Living in an apartment with two of his friends, life with Huey was getting better by the day.
That is, until orders came down for Matt to go to Korea.
At the time, the solution seemed easily navigated- Huey could stay with Matt’s roommates. However, the three-man living situation fell through and Matt was running out of options. The option to have Huey stay with another friend fell through after it was discovered that while Huey was great around humans, he didn’t do well with other dogs.
Under any other circumstances, a dependent of a soldier would likely be left in the custody of the soldier’s spouse. With no one else to turn to, Matt asked Rollins -who eventually developed a strictly platonic (civil) friendship with Matt- to care for Huey.
Things seemed okay at first. Huey had seemingly gained weight whenever Matt came home to visit and seemed in high spirits. For a while, it seemed like things were going to work out.
“I thought Huey would be good for Marinna,” Matt lamented. “I thought he could help her get through the things she was going through.”
Then, one day Matt got into an argument with his estranged wife after Rollins that she “switched Huey’s microchip from my name to her name and that she ‘registered’ him as her Emotional Support Animal,” despite the fact that all the adoption paperwork was in Matt’s name and archived with a county agency.
When Rollins said she would not surrender the dog, Matt said he would deal with it when he got back to the US later on.
Rollins was in and out of several relationships during the time, including Heng, who allegedly “hated the dog.”
“I think he convinced Marinna to get rid of Huey,” he said.
When Matt was on leave, one of his friends committed suicide. Asking for an extension on his leave, Matt tended to affairs, moving back to the Fort Bragg-area. During this time, he attempted to get custody of Huey and visited the dog, much to the jealous chagrin of Heng.
“I wanted to try and be [Heng’s] friend in order to be Marinna’s friend,” Matt said, noting the couple were trying to initiate the divorce process.
During the process, Heng became verbally abusive towards Rollins. Shortly after the incident, Rollins asked if Matt wanted Huey back, claiming “[Heng] hates him.” Unfortunately, Matt’s place did not allow pets and Rollins needed just a little more time to resolve the situation.
When Matt was finding someone to take care of Huey until he could get a new place (or negotiate with his landlord), he noticed Rollins had posted on social media that Huey was being put up for adoption- without Matt’s consent.
Little did he know, the situation was far worse.
“They had already killed him,” he said. “She didn’t want me to know that her and [Heng] had killed him and wanted me to go the rest of my life thinking he had been re-homed.”
According to Matt, he was “unaware” of whether or not Rollins -who for all intents and purposes fell under the category of “mentally defective” and potentially likely be prohibited from firearms ownership, was actually able to possess a firearm- and even if she wasn’t, it was Heng who purchased the “cheap” plinking rifle for the sole purpose of killing Huey.
“They didn’t just get drunk and decide to kill Huey,” Matt said. “This was premeditated, they had planned this.”
When Matt arrived at Rollins’ house, he noticed Huey wasn’t there but that his crate was still in the residence. Rollins -who was on the phone with Heng- gave away the fact that she and Heng were in trouble.
“Does this involve Huey?” Matt asked.
“Yes,” a heavily-inebriated Rollins confessed, telling him that Heng convinced her to kill Huey and bury him in a shallow grave.
“I was like, ‘Why didn’t you guys just bring him to a shelter?!,” Matt recalled. “They’re both just…sociopathic and they wanted to kill him.”
Rollins continued to drink, saying that if she was going to turn herself in, she wanted to get drunk beforehand.
“I didn’t stop her,” he said. “It’s not my job to stop her anymore.”
When Rollins became uncooperative and uncontrollable (going into a berserk rage and covering her face in ice cream for some reason), she fled, attempting to slit her own throat with a razor before running out the door.
Worried Rollins would attempt to drink the hand sanitizer she had grabbed on her way out of the apartment (after Matt had seized the razor), Matt gently subdued her while motioning to a bystander that he needed him to call the police.
“I made the wedge symbol, you know, a telephone,” he said. “I put it to my ear and I mouthed ‘9-1-1.”
Rollins reportedly went back into the apartment and began talking to herself in the mirror. When police arrived on the scene, Rollins answered the door and immediately fled to the bathroom, where authorities took her into custody on what they thought was simply a suicide threat.
“I told the cops that I was supposed to bring her to jail for animal cruelty,” Matt said.
Rollins was hospitalized for a 24-hour suicide hold (which would certainly bar her from firearms usage from then on), only to be released.
Eventually, Rollins was detained by law enforcement without a fight. Matt and his friend attended her hearing on the same day.
“I wanted to see what the charges would be,” he said. “And my command is interested in all the details as well.”
Matt said that he’s been “catching heat” by social media users for going to the hearing, which ended in $25,000 bail for both Heng and Rollins, as well as 39-44 months in prison.
Another issue for Matt rests in the public opinion that he is at fault for letting Rollins keep the dog, as well as news sources that made a viral story without even checking the details.
“I didn’t have a choice,” he lamented, saying that he meant well, thinking Huey would not only be in good hands but would be good for his estranged spouse. “Now I’m associated with her because I’m married to her and had a relationship. Even if it’s positive attention I’m getting, it’s not attention I want.”
What shocked him the most, he said, was just how fast the news spread.
“The video was on Facebook for less than 24 hours,” he said. “It already has tens of thousands of views, and nobody knows the real story. His name isn’t “Cam,” it’s Huey. Marinna changed his name to try and personalize him when she said I couldn’t have him back.”
Despite great support from his unit and his support network, Matt told Popular Military that he just can’t seem to get over how senseless Huey’s death was.
“There were options,” he lamented, recalling Huey’s fate. “They chose to take him in the woods and kill him.”
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