Updated 10 months ago
A Washington County farmer wants to know who shot and butchered one of his daughter's best show calves more than a week after it went missing from his cattle farm.
Tim Graves told LEX 18 he found the remains of the three-month-old calf on a neighbor's property. The hide, feet, head and tail of the animal were all that remained.
"The hide was turned inside-out and pulled down over the calf's head much like you would do if you were skinning an animal," Graves said. "They came prepared because they would have the knowledge of how to butcher the animal and they brought equipment to butcher the animal."
The calf belonged to Graves' 16-year-old daughter, Emilee, who was born with a heart defect. Her first calf when she started showing cattle was born with a heart shape on her head. Her dad aptly named it 'Emilee's Dream Heart'. That calf bore four babies, the last one being the calf discovered by Emilee's father last weekend.
"At first I didn't believe him," Emilee said. "I was like 'You're kidding, right?' He's like 'No, I'm serious.' I'm like 'Oh, my gosh.' "
The family believes the people responsible were most likely poachers who acted at night, perhaps mistaking the calf for a deer.
"It's been hard on our family," Emilee said. "I just want to say to other farmers to keep an eye on your cattle. You could be the next victim if it happens again."
The 450-pound calf could have brought in upwards of $5,000 if it was sold to be bred, Tim Graves said. He's offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
Emilee described the situation as a setback but said it wouldn't deter her from continuing to show cattle.
"I will always keep showing," she said. "You can't change the past. I just hope it doesn't happen again."
Anyone with information about the case can contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office at 859-336-5400.