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Sheriff James Tracy will make a statement regarding an ongoing investigation of horses found starving near Spanish Fork.

On February 13, 2013 Deputies with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, following up on information received from the public and from a local media outlet, located a large number of horses belonging to Trudy Childs, age 59, of Mapleton, and her son, Rory Childs, age 31, of Spanish Fork. The Deputies found horses in at least 2 different locations near Spanish Fork and Mapleton as well as in at least 2 different locations in Spanish Fork Canyon. Many of these horses appeared to have been significantly malnourished over an extended period of time and were suffering from long term neglect.

At one location Deputies found one horse alive but stuck in a fence, having been unable to free itself. This horse showed serious signs of malnourishment and did not have the strength to stand after Deputies removed it from the fence. The horse subsequently died as a result of its condition. Another horse at this location became stuck in the notch of a tree and could not free itself. This horse also was severely weakened, apparently due to malnourishment and neglect, and was found dead. At least two other horses were found dead on the ground in this same area.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office has taken measures to insure that these horses have water available and that they are fed adequately every day. A local Veterinarian went with Deputies and inspected the horses. He confirmed that the horses appeared to have been neglected for an extended period of time.

On February 15, 2013, Deputies arrested Trudy and Rory Childs and booked both of them into the Utah County Jail. They were each booked on 31 counts of Livestock at Large and 101 counts of Cruelty to Animals.

On February 19 there will be a press conference related to this incident at the Sheriff’s Office at 3075 North Main Street, Spanish Fork. Sheriff James Tracy will make a statement and he and other Sheriff’s officials will be able to answer questions. Photographs and video will be made available to the media. The photographs are on a flash drive and the file is about 30 MB in size. There are 3 videos and the size of that folder is about 655 MB. Following the press conference any interested media will be taken to the location near Spanish Fork to see the horses. This area may be quite muddy so a truck or SUV is recommended and any attending might consider attire suitable to sloppy, muddy conditions.

For questions contact Sergeant Spencer Cannon, Public Information Officer, Utah County Sheriff’s Office, (801)404-1912.

*** UPDATE *** Press conference will be at 3:00 PM.