PALMETTO, Fla. — Investigators searching for a horse stolen from a Palmetto property made a gruesome discovery early Monday. 

  • Horse found slaughtered in field near stable
  • Farm owners says similar case happened in 2015
  • Anyone with information asked to call Sheriff's Office

According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, a guard gate was broken and the horse was led away from its stable on Buckeye Road sometime between 5 p.m. Sunday and 8 a.m. Monday. 

During a search of the area, they located the horse dead in a nearby field. It had been slaughtered for meat. 

"Somebody knew what they were looking for," said Randy Warren, spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. 

On Thursday the Sheriff's Office released surveillance video showing a person of interest in the case: 


Investigators are also looking into the possibility that this case is connected to a similar incident in October 2015, when a horse was killed after being stolen from Centennial Equestrian Farm, which is located about two miles away. 

"The manner, it looked the same to me," said Steve Stephens, owner of Centennial Equestrian Farm. "It just upsets us that it's back in town again."

Stephens says they have since turned their alarm system back on and have around the clock security. An arrest was never made in his 2015 case. 

"I don't think they’ll solve this one either," he said. 

The Marion County Sheriff's Office is investigating a case involving a horse that was killed and slaughtered on Thanksgiving Day. It is unclear if that case is connected. 

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.