Could the serial shootings of Heber wild horses have begun in 2017?
Although we typically consider the Oct 2018 shootings of two Heber wild horse bachelors as the beginning of the serial shooting sprees, there were two other wild horses shot a year and a half prior to that. May 3, 2017 we were notified of a dead horse on the side of FS Rd 51. The Forest Service was called but they did not have an available law enforcement officer at the time and so advised us to call the Navajo County Sheriff’s Dept. The following morning one of our advocates met with a Sheriff’s deputy in the forest at the body of the horse. It was a yearling chestnut filly with an obvious bullet hole in her. The deputy opened a case on the death.
On May 5th we got notification of another horse that had been fatally shot. Judging by the amount of scavenger activity and decomposition the second horse was most likely shot a couple of days after the first horse. He was approximately two years old and also a chestnut. The Sheriff’s Dept was notified and did an investigation. No arrests were ever made in those shooting deaths.
At the time those shootings occurred we made Facebook posts asking for any information or tips to be called in to the Sheriff’s Dept. We also gave the contact number of one of our advocates which resulted in her getting a death threat. She notified the Sheriff’s Dept. They did an investigation and were able to trace the call back to a member of a prominent local family. It was his word against our advocate's word so the case was dropped with our advocate being advised by the investigating deputy to be careful. Needless to say, we removed her phone number from our post!
Sheriff's deputy investigating the shooting death of the filly.