Missing New Mexico cows could be the result of cattle rustlers

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CARLSBAD N.M.(KRQE) – Cows are disappearing from a New Mexico ranch. One cow was found butchered on the side of the road. Now, deputies are on the case.

It’s like a crime from the Wild West, cattle rustling, but it could be happening on a ranch near Carlsbad. The Eddy County Sheriff’s office is investigating.

“These cows are being taken, either being butchered and taken or just flat out taken from the pasture,” said Sgt. Matt Hutchinson with the Eddy County Sheriff’s office.

Eighteen cows have disappeared. At roughly $4,000 per head of cow, that’s more than $70,000.

The sheriff’s office says that the cows roam along County Road 799, putting them at higher risk for accidents with vehicles and makes them bigger targets for cattle rustlers.

Deputies want to find whoever is responsible for these missing cows.

“It’s a felony case in the state of New Mexico we are looking very much into this incident and we are attempting to obviously hold people accountable that are involved in this crime,” said Hutchinson.

The sheriff’s office says that other ranchers may be losing cows to rustlers these days as well, they just don’t report the thefts to deputies.

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