Man sought after horse slaughtered for meat in Florida

Horse stolen, butchered for its meat in Manatee County

ORLANDO, Fla. – Manatee County deputies have released a new clue in a gruesome case of animal cruelty after a horse was found slaughtered earlier this month.

Investigators over the weekend released surveillance photos of a man wanted for questioning in connection with the Dec. 1 case.

The photos were released days after officials put out a warning to horse owners about an increase in horse deaths across the state, including at least two in Central Florida.

[MORE: 3 horses slaughtered in Florida a reminder of America’s history with horse meat]

Although no horses have been killed in Lake County, the Sheriff’s Office there said horses found slaughtered in Manatee, Marion and Sumter counties were apparently harvested for their meat in Palmetto, Florida.

“Horse owners should be vigilant in ensuring the safety of their animals. Report ANY suspicious incidents involving your land such as attempts to gain entry or cut fencing to law enforcement immediately,” the Lake County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook.

Tamara Weaver, of Sumter County, said her 10-year-old horse, Jayda, was found killed across the street from where the animal had been boarded. Weaver said the fence had been cut and evidence at the scene suggested whoever was responsible was seeking the horse’s meat.

A Central Florida family said that they are devastated after their family horse was found dead Wednesday morning in Sumter County.

In November, News 6 spoke with a family in Marion County after their horse was found dead. The family believes their horse was also slaughtered for its meat.

Anyone with information about the cases is asked to call local authorities or Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.

Family is trying to find out details on the death of their horse

Watch News 6 and stay with for updates.

About the Author:

Cathleigh is a newscast producer and has been with News 6 since 2014. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in communications, with a focus in broadcast journalism. Cathleigh produces the 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. newscasts.