Travis Tarrants applied to be an elementary school teacher in Indiana, but a different applicant was chosen.
In response, police say, Tarrants attempted to mail four dead skunks and a raccoon — the carcasses stuffed into packages — to the successful applicant and the applicant’s fiancee. And that was the least gruesome part of his response.
On Tuesday, the 40-year-old Tarrants was charged in Jackson County Circuit Court with two felony charges of stalking, two felony charges of intimidation and two felony charges of criminal mischief.
Tarrants applied to be a fourth-grade teacher and the new basketball coach at Springs Valley Community Schools in French Lick, Ind., but he was not chosen, the Associated Press reported.
This also proved to be unfortunate for the man who was chosen. The person hired remains unnamed in news reports.
The alleged harassment began in June, after Tarrants was passed over for the position. Police say he began harassing the successful applicant and his fiancee in a variety of ways that range from bizarre to disgusting and that were probably downright frightening for the couple.
To begin, Tarrants allegedly attempted to mail the successful applicant the dead animals.
Several of these packages were discovered by local post offices before reaching their destinations.
The Jasper Post Office, for example, intercepted a package containing a dead raccoon. With the animal’s carcass was a message that read “Resign! It will not stop,” according to WXIN-TV. The victim’s fiancee was listed as the sender.
One of the packages containing a dead skunk, which also had the victim’s fiancee listed as the sender, made it to the Seymour Community School District administration building.
Two others were intercepted by the Indianapolis Post Office. Of those two, one was listed as being sent from the Medora High School’s athletic director and the other from Brownstown High School’s basketball coach, WISH-TV reported. Both were addressed to the victim.
Medora and Brownstown are neighboring high schools.
“It’s bizarre, its just hard to believe,” Charles Murphy, Jackson County Sheriff’s jail commander, told Reuters. “The post office gets these packages that smell like skunks, blood coming from them,” and called police.
Tarrants’s girlfriend told investigators that in late spring, he had trapped between five and seven skunks, according to the AP, and kept them alive for several days. It’s unclear whether these are the same skunks.
Tarrants also allegedly vandalized the couple’s cars by writing with white spray paint “F— u” and “u will die” on the side of the vehicles, WISH reported.
More frighteningly, police say, Tarrants called the Indiana Department of Child Services on four different occasions. On these calls, Tarrants accused the successful applicant of having sex with an underage student and sexually abusing an acquaintance’s daughter, the AP reported.
In concert with those calls, Tarrants allegedly sent multiple letters to the successful applicant and his fiancee mirroring the accusations of a sexual relationship with an underage male student, WXIN reported. One of the letters, which was written as if it were from a 15-year-old boy, contained a photograph of a male’s genitals along with a copy of the victim’s phone number.
Finally, the couple received multiple voice mails containing death threats to the man’s fiancee and their young child.
“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,” Murphy told Reuters.
Tarrants is currently being held without bond. It is unclear whether he has a lawyer or whether he has entered a plea.