Chillicothe man thrilled to have beloved pet Capuchin monkey back home

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CHILLICOTHE, Mo. -- Harley is in a bit of trouble with his owner, Billy Johnston. This trained Capuchin monkey knows he's not supposed to run off, but just like a teenager tired of listening, he did.

"You about want to cry. It's like losing one of your children," said Johnston.

Harley was missing over the weekend, but Tuesday around 1:00 p.m., Livingston County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Mueller said he got a call that someone found Harley.

"I called him and let him know, 'hey, somebody says they've seen your monkey,'" said Mueller.

Mueller went to the address and that's where he found Harley. Mueller is friends with Johnston, and he explains that he’s met Harley several other times.

"I went over and opened the door on the truck and asked him if he wanted to go for a ride and he just jumped in," said Mueller.

Once in the car, Harley started digging for food. He found a cracker and a dinner mint.

"He ate a Sonic mint," Mueller said grinning. Mueller added the monkey even delicately removed the wrapper.

Mueller says he wasn't afraid of Harley. He knows this particular monkey is Johnston's beloved pet. Johnston was thrilled to have Harley back.

"You about want to cry. It's like losing one of your children," said Johnston.

To Johnston, these incredibly intelligent animals have become part of his lifestyle. When he talks to the monkeys, they respond on cue through sound or action.

"Sometimes he'll be laying down at my feet, and I'll say come here, Harley, they'll shake their head no at you," explained Johnston.

And Johnston's happy to have his irreplaceable pet back home, safely, thanks to his friend, Deputy Mueller.

"Couldn't ask for a better friend," Johnston said.

Last year, another one of Johnston's monkeys got loose. That one, however, was a breeder monkey, not a pet like Harley. That monkey ended up being killed because authorities weren't able to catch him.

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