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After 60 dead horses found, investigators warn it could get much worse

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After 60 dead horses found, investigators warn it could get much worse

By Charles Benson. CREATED May 8, 2013 - UPDATED: May 8, 2013

PLEASANT PRAIRIE - A horrific case of animal abuse gets worse. Sixty dead horses found on a farm and investigators fear there may be even more.

They suspect it could be one of the worst cases of horse abuse, ever. Many of the dead horses are buried in a mass grave in Kenosha County.

Police don’t know why so many animals are buried at the Pleasant Prairie farm on Russell Road.

Video from Chopper 4 shows investigators doing a lot of digging, bones are scattered everywhere.

They suspect some of the horses died within the last six months, but tests are being done to determine cause of death.

Pleasant Prairie's Deputy Chief David Mogensen talked with TODAY'S TMJ4 Reporter Charles Benson about the investigation. He said he does not believe they have found all the animals yet.

Investigators were first called to the farm in Apr. 23. Horses, some malnourished, were rescued.

At that time five dead horses were found in their stalls. Tests show starvation contributed to their deaths.

The owners, Paula and David White, were arrested and charged with animal mistreatment.

"It's very scary," said neighbor Lisa Candelaria. She lives across the street and snapped photos of the raid and arrest last month. "We knew they had some dead horses over there but to find so many to that extent, it’s very disturbing."

In addition to the dead animals the farm house has a number of code violations, so no one is living there right now. But investigators have a lot of questions.

"We don’t know why there's that many carcasses buried back there," said Mogensen. "Was that a business? Was that animals that just died off? Was there criminal conduct that caused them to die?"

We tried to reach the homeowners for comment but their number has been disconnected.

Police say they did get complaints about the farm in the past but they never had enough evidence to execute a search warrant until April.

Charles Benson

Charles Benson

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Charles Benson is one of the most reliable, trusted and experienced reporters in southeast Wisconsin. If there's a big story going on, Charles is usually there leading the way.