Horse Remains Found in Impounded Van

The contents of a van discovered parked in a Miami-Dade, Fla., neighborhood earlier this week included horse remains, according to Miami-Dade Police. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The probe is the latest investigation into a series of incidents involving the slaughter of horses for their meat. Since January 2009, the butchered remains of at least 22 horses have been found in Miami-Dade County. Two horses were also discovered dead and mutilated in a field in nearby Miramar, Fla., in May 2009.

Police discovered the blood-smeared white van on Wednesday after a tipster reported seeing a suspicious vehicle parked near his home. Officers subsequently found containers of suspected horsemeat inside the vehicle.

Further investigation revealed that the van contained two coolers filled with meat and a bag containing horse legs, said Miami-Dade Police Public Information Officer Det. Edna Hernandez. A horse carcass was later located elsewhere.

"Samples will be taken from the remains and compared to the meat located in the van," Hernandez said.

Miami-Dade Police later arrested the van's owner, Ramon Clemente, and Modesto Chavez-Villa, an acquaintance traveling with him at the time of the incident. Both men have been charged with loitering and prowling, Hernandez said.

Anyone with information about this incident should contact CrimeStoppers at 305/471-8477 or 866/471-8477. A $20,000 reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the horse poaching incidents still under investigation.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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