Horse News

Update: Surveillance video shows person of interest before horse was stolen, killed for meat

By: Michael Paluska as published on

The search continues after an unknown suspect stole a horse and killed it for meat over the weekend, according to the sheriff’s office.

PALMETTO, Fla – Deputies say sometime between 5 p.m. on Sunday and 8 a.m. on Monday, the suspect forced his way through a locked gate on the 5800 block of Buckeye Rd and stole the horse.

On Thursday, the sheriff’s office released surveillance video of the person of interest. The person of interest was seen walking up to stables where the horse was stolen and later slaughtered.

“I’m thrilled right now. I haven’t been this excited since it happened to us cause I didn’t think we would catch him,” Steve Stephens told ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska. Stephens is the owner of Centennial Farms. On Oct. 25, 2015, one of his prized horses worth $500,000, Phedras De Blondel was slaughtered for meat. Stephens farm is a little over a mile away from the most recent case.

“He did the same thing, took it from the stall, took it off-premises, and killed it,” Stephens said. “Cut the shoulders off, cut the hindquarters off, took the loin out of the back, the same thing that happened to ours; this horse was processed in the same way.”

Stephens doesn’t know if this is the same person who killed his horse, but he feels one step closer to solving the case for himself and his neighbors.

“Man, I am blown away, and I am so happy. That clarity, somebody is going to be able to recognize that person. That is super video. I call him the Boogey Man. But, he doesn’t have a heart. If he will do that to a horse, if we walk up on him, I don’t doubt that that person wouldn’t kill you to get away.”

Stephens is now offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.

3 replies »

  1. This is disturbing in so many ways. It made me recognize that I was thinking these horse murders were done by desperate, hungry people. This video shows a well-fed guy, calm and casual as can be, and well-prepared. In short: a pro. This points to the prospect of the meat being sold for profit in a black market. The longer video clip shows him shining a light into what seems to be an equipment stall, so he’s likely scouting for goods he can also sell for profit.

    I hope the Hounds of Hell follow his blood trail and bring him to bay, and soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Summary:

    Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed this amendment into law on May 17, 2010 making it a second-degree felony for any person to willfully and unlawfully, by any means whatsoever, kill, maim, mutilate, or cause great bodily harm or permanent breeding disability to any animal of the genus Equus (horse). Any person who commits a violation of this subsection shall be sentenced to a minimum mandatory fine of $3,500 and a minimum mandatory period of incarceration of 1 year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reward to Locate Burro Killers Now $100,000
    October 17, 2019

    Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to call (800) 782-7463 or visit Callers may remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward for information leading to the arrest(s) and conviction(s) of any person(s) responsible for the deaths of these federally protected animals.

    Liked by 1 person

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