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'Bolt gun' used to kill race horse in Indiana

A race horse found dead in a Lowell, Ind., pasture was killed with a device used to slaughter livestock, authorities say.

Lady May Z, an 8-year-old trotting horse that was found dead Tuesday, was killed with a “captive bolt gun,” a device used to stun or kill livestock, according to necropsy results from the Purdue University Animal Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory.

The device caused massive blunt force trauma injuries that lead to the mare’s death.

Investigators originally suspected the horse, which was due to run a qualifying race at Balmoral Park the following day, had been shot with a low-caliber firearm, possibly even a stray bullet.

Investigators now believe Lady May Z was killed deliberately, a statement from the Lake County Sheriff’s office states.

“In order for this weapon to be used in this manner, the perpetrator would have had to hold the device up to the horse’s forehead,” it says.

“The manner in which this animal was killed has led the Lake County Sheriff’s Department to believe that the (killer)… may have had prior experience in the meat processing field,” according to the statement.

Lady May Z was found dead around 6 p.m. Tuesday in a pasture adjacent to a training track near 245th Avenue and Colfax Road south of Lowell.

Anyone with information may contact the Sheriff’s Department’s Criminal Investigations Bureau at 219-755-3346 or the anonymous tip line at 800-750-2746.

agrimm@tribune.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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