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Bodies discovered in pile of manure at horse farm

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Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



GARY — Two unidentified bodies were discovered Sunday morning in a manure pile at a Gary horse farm.

Gary Police Cpl. Mike Barnes said a man who was boarding his horse at the stable spotted what he thought was a dead body and called police around 10:30 a.m. The farm is located in a wooded area at the dead end of Mississippi Street, just south of 22nd Avenue.

A body was partially wrapped in plastic, and an officer spotted a foot protruding from a plastic bag in another part of the mound, which turned out to be the second body. The bodies were bloated, but investigators aren’t sure how long ago they died. The Lake County Coroner’s office confirmed that one of the bodies was a man, but it is unknown whether the other body is that of a man or woman. Further identification and the causes of death are pending the results of an autopsy.

Police brought a payloader to the scene around 3 p.m. to excavate the large mound of manure to make sure there weren’t any additional remains. Gary Police and officers from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department crime lab donned blue booties and rubber gloves before digging through the mound, which was at least 10 feet high and releasing a fair amount of steam from the methane. They halted the excavation several times to probe some clumps of dirt with shovels. Police did find some bones in the pile, but the large size led police to determine that they are probably horse remains.

Barnes said there are no suspects at this time since police still don’t know who the victims were or how they died.

The farm boards around 15 to 20 horses, and there were several chickens and goats in the yard. About 10 people who board horses at the farm were talking and standing near a line of yellow crime scene tape. They weren’t allowed to see their animals until around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, and police gathered their names and phone numbers for the investigation.

If anyone has information, contact Barnes at 881-7434.



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