Update to Owner says horse’s death is suspicious dated September 13, 2013.
Originally, Bremer County deputies were summoned to a Sumner rural property after the owner discovered six of her horses missing from their enclosure. Based on the investigation carried out by the deputies, an electrical pole – rotted at ground level – had fallen over, taking with it some attached wires. The pole fell onto the electric fence. In addition, a fence board was broken and the “three cattle panels making up a gate were moved inside of the pasture.”
The investigators were unable to locate human footprints or tracks of a vehicle in these areas. The Bremer County sheriff's office could not substantiate the owner’s claims that someone tampered with the fence or purposely turned the six horses loose.
Deputies came back to horse owner Melissa Happel’s place a couple of days after their original investigation. Deputy Brian Davison, speaking on behalf of the investigating deputies, said that they were unaware that a horse died, that Happel suspected foul play and first heard this in a KWWL report.
They again searched the fence, gates and property but still found nothing suspicious. The horse had been buried so they could not examine the remains.
Davison issued a press release in which he stated,
There were no founded reports of suspicious vehicles or people in the area during that time.
However, Happel still maintains the horse death was as a result of intentional action. She says,
I won't consider this matter closed until I get answers on this whole thing. There was multiple fences broke in. It's obvious that someone did this.
According to Ken McDonough from the Oelwein Veterinary Clinic, the horse likely died of hyperthermia due to exhaustion in the heat.
Davison requests help from the public. Anyone with information is asked to get in touch with sheriff's office at (319) 352-5400.
If you enjoyed this article by Heidi Rucki, please click the link above to subscribe and get others. It’s free, informative and anonymous. Read Rucki's articles on Examiner.com.