San Joaquin County Sheriff's deputies are investigating a rather unnerving crime — a horse that was brutally killed.
A woman who lives on Atkins Road between Lockeford and Clements said she found the young thoroughbred stallion early Monday morning tied to a vine in a vineyard, with his throat slit and tail cut off. The owner of the property where the horse was found doesn't live in the area, she said.
The killing took place elsewhere because there was no blood on the ground, said the resident, who asked that her name not be published.
"I would love to see the person get caught," she said.
It's common for people to dump cows who die of natural causes on rural property to avoid paying for disposal, but cruelly slaughtering a horse is another thing, the woman said.
Sheriff's spokesman Les Garcia said that a deputy responded and is conducting an investigation.
"There is very little information to go on," Garcia said in an email. "The first step will be to find the owner, if possible, and go from there."
Residents can help by reporting anything suspicious to the Sheriff's office, Garcia said. If possible, get a license plate number and a description of the vehicle and occupants, he said.