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Deputies: Man charged in theft, slaughter of horse

October 17, 2020 GMT

PALMETTO, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has been arrested in the theft and slaughter of a horse last year, officials said.

Eladio Garcia-Gasca, 50, was arrested Thursday at his North St. Petersburg home and charged with grand theft and animal cruelty, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office news release.

In December 2019, someone forced their way through a locked gate in a rural area of Manatee County, just south of Tampa Bay, and removed the horse from its stall, officials said. When the deputies and the owner later searched the surrounding area, they found the animal dead, with most of its meat removed.

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Surveillance video linked Garcia-Gasca to the crime, officials said.

Garcia-Gasca was being held on $22,500 bond. Jail records didn’t list an attorney who could comment on the charges.