Cow mutilation strikes Lake County

A cow on Steven Roth’s Ranch was found dead by a ranch hand, with various body parts having been removed; no arrests made as of the time if publication.

A cow was found mutilated in northern Lake County in September, but the Lake County Sheriff's Office only recently released information on the incident.

The mutilation is similar to what happened to five cows on the Silvies Ranch in Harney County. The cow was found by a hired hand employed by Steven Roth Ranch, found south of Hampton Café off Highway 20, according to the sheriff's report. Similar to the Silvies Valley Ranch cows that were found, the cow that belonged to Roth had several organs and its udder cut out.

There is no evidence of how the cow was killed — no bullet hole was found on the cow.

Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Tom Roark, who responded to the scene, noted that the location of where the cow was found is far off of Hwy. 20, and the suspects would have had to travel past many cows and across dirt roads to get to this particular location, which is on Roth’s BLM grazing allotment.

In the 1970s, a string of cattle mutilations occurred across the West, which remained unsolved — though there were plenty of theories. Meanwhile, there is no evidence to help rule out a cause of death. The Silvies Ranch cattle were killed in a similar manner, with no trace evidence, no signs of struggle, and no footprints.

There is no suspect in the Silvies Ranch cow mutilations. It is not yet clear if the Lake County cattle mutilation is connected or the work of a copycat, though there are similarities in the manner of death. Silvies Ranch posted a $25,000 reward leading to the arrest of a suspect, and the Oregon Cattleman’s Association has also put up a $1,000 reward.

No suspects have been named in the Lake County case, the case is currently under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at 541-947-6027.

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