Four kittens, about 12 weeks old each, found dead on an Oceanport thoroughfare this morning lead investigators to believe that they were thrown from a moving vehicle. Their question is, did anyone see it happen, and if so, will someone step up?

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Ross Licitra, Chief of Police for the Monmouth County SPCA, tells us that Oceanport police fielded a report from a driver during the morning rush hour who counted three on Monmouth Boulevard and one on Myrtle Avenue, which connects to Little Silver.

"It had to have happened in the early morning, up until about eight o'clock," Licitra said. "We need to get [information] out there so that, in case anyone saw anything, they can contact the Monmouth County SPCA or Oceanport police."

The medical examiner performing necropsies is also trying to establish if the kittens died by being run over, or if they were already deceased when they hit the pavement, Licitra said.

"Because of the way they were spread out, a good distance from each other, indicates that they were thrown from a car or moving vehicle," Licitra said. "But they're all related, all from the same litter, all identical."

Information can be given anonymously to Oceanport PD at 732-222-6300, or to Monmouth SPCA at 732-542-0040. Both agencies also accept accept e-mail through portal on their web pages.

Animal cruelty is a third-degree crime, punishable by three to five years in prison, plus fines, on conviction.