WILMINGTON, N.C. -- A Wilmington man is facing animal cruelty charges after he allegedly strangled two kittens that were found in a shallow grave.

According to Cathryn Lindsay, spokesperson for the Wilmington Police Department, officers received a 911 call around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday alerting them to a possible animal abuse incident that occurred at a home on Graham Street.

Police responded to the 2800 block of Graham Street and spoke with the suspect, 19-year-old Daniel Eligha Knotts. Lindsay said he admitted to officers that he strangled two kittens to death.

The officers searched the backyard and found the kittens buried in a shallow grave. Lindsay said the kittens belonged to an unspecified family member of Knotts. Someone else reportedly buried the dead kittens.

Knotts was charged with one count of cruelty to animals and booked in the New Hanover County Jail under a $5,000 bond.