Crime

Dismembered horse found by disc golf player in Kansas City was likely eaten: police

Dismembered remains of horse found in Kansas City park

The dismembered remains of a horse were found Monday in Kessler Park in Kansas City. Police said it appeared the horse had been partly consumed and handed the investigation to animal control. 
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The dismembered remains of a horse were found Monday in Kessler Park in Kansas City. Police said it appeared the horse had been partly consumed and handed the investigation to animal control. 

A man playing disc golf discovered the dismembered remains of a horse Monday evening along an isolated wooded area inside Kessler Park in Northeast Kansas City.

The man contacted authorities after he walked upon the deceased animal about 7:30 p.m. near the 17th hole of the Kessler Park Disc Golf Course on Cliff Drive.

Workers from the city’s Neighborhoods and Housing Services department were summoned along with Kansas City police. The area was too dark to examine or remove the remains at the time, city officials said, and they returned Tuesday morning.

They found the horse’s head, hooves, legs, entrails, ribs and lungs scattered in the grassy area, said John Baccala, a spokesman for the city’s neighborhood services department.

The torso, or section of horse that contained its muscles, was missing. It appears that section was likely eaten, Baccala said.

The horse appeared to have been “field-dressed for consumption,” said Capt. Tim Hernandez a Kansas City Police Department spokesman. “After the meat was removed the carcass was placed in a barrel and dumped in the park.”

The remains were not visible from the road that leads through the park and city workers were startled by the rare discovery.

“It was disgusting,” Baccala said. “I would have been mortified, God forbid, it would have been a Saturday or a Sunday and there would have been kids playing in the park and they had seen that.

“It was disturbing to me. I could only imagine if an 8 or 10-year-old child had seen that.”

The city has asked Kansas City police if there was any surveillance video that may have captured someone placing the remains there. Officials initially were investigating the discovery as an illegal dumping violation and an animal abuse case.

It is unclear how long the remains had been there. The person who found the remains has not been identified.

Capt. Hernandez of the Police Department said the remains of the horse will be sent to a veterinarian for an examination to determine the cause and time of death.

The examination will be conducted at the Kansas State University veterinary school, Baccala said.

The investigation will be continued by animal control officials, Hernandez said, “unless it is determined the horse was stolen.”

The city has received several phone calls from people who reported they were missing a horse. However, unless the owner has very detailed photographs, it would be extremely difficult to identify the animal, Baccala said.

“We are looking at some other things to find out who may have owned this horse,” he said. “Right now, we are playing blind.”

City crews are accustomed to responding calls to remove deceased dogs, cats and other domesticated animals from city parks and other property. The last time workers responded to a dead horse found on city property was about eight years ago, Baccala said.

“It is incredibly rare that we get a phone call like this,” he said. “And it is really rarer still that we find something in the condition that we found this particular animal.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477) or 816-513-DUMP (3867) or the 311 Action Center.

Glenn E. Rice covers crime, courts and breaking news for The Kansas City Star, where he’s worked since 1988. Rice is a Kansas City native and a graduate of the University of Central Missouri.
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