ARTESIA, N.M. (KRQE) – Eddy County sheriff’s deputies are searching for a cow thief.
They say someone killed a rancher’s calf, gutted it, stole the meat and left the carcass on the side of the road.
The incident happened around 3 p.m. Feb. 1 along a back county road hidden between Artesia and Carlsbad, deputies say.
“It just disgusts me. I can’t believe somebody would do that,” said Sandy Campbell. “I think it’s horrible that they would do that. That they’d be so inconsiderate of someone else’s livestock.”
Ranchers say the blood is still visible.
“What they found was a gut pile and some blood that was on the roadway leading up to the gut pile,” said Captain Jeff Zuniga with the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies say they do have some leads.
“There were some shoe prints and tire tracks on the roadway which helped us identify who could be responsible and tied to the event, so we do have evidence and we have an eyewitness,” said Zuniga.
The eyewitness told officials the suspect is a 6-foot-tall, white male who is bald with a gotee.
Neighbors say they’re hoping their animals aren’t the thief’s next target.
“I would be devastated. It would be devastating,” said Campbell.
Sheriff’s Deputies say the suspect was driving a silver Chevy Silverado. They say if caught, he could face up to 18 months in jail for livestock theft.