PAINESVILLE, Ohio (AP) - A man who raises livestock is hoping a sheriff's investigation will help him solve a series of dairy cow killings and beatings on his property.
Russell Rettger said the cow attacks began May 18, when a calf that had been inside his barn all night appeared to have been beaten with a blunt object and was bleeding badly. The calf later died of its injuries.
Rettger also found a pregnant cow that was beaten and died that day after giving birth prematurely to a stillborn calf.
On May 26, he discovered another calf beaten and dead. Two other dairy cows in the barn suffered hind leg injuries.
"Certainly someone who would do this to animals is of great concern to us," said William E. Crosier, Lake County chief deputy sheriff.
He said the cow attacks were not made public until Wednesday, because his office was trying to catch someone in the act by using surveillance cameras. Those efforts were unsuccessful, so deputies now hope someone will come forward with information.
Rettger said possible suspects are teenage boys he has asked to leave his property in Leroy Township, about 30 miles northeast of Cleveland.
The cattleman said in a written statement to sheriff's deputies that he confronted some teens on an access road about three weeks ago. They were riding all-terrain, four-wheel vehicles.
"In the past, they have cut the fence and let the cows out, but this is going too far," he said. "I will pursue charges if any suspects are identified."