Rewards are now being offered by two groups that lead to an arrest and conviction after 3,800 pigs were suffocated last week at a hog operation in northwest Iowa. Sioux County Sheriff Dan Altena is hoping the cash will help his investigators solve the case.
Sheriff Altena says the Humane Society is putting up a $2,500 reward while a farmers’ support group from Des Moines is offering $500. “Hopefully, that will bring somebody forward that knows something about it that could assist us,” he says. The hog confinement building near Hull was discovered on November 13th, the victim of sabotage.
Investigators say someone had switched off all air circulation fans in addition to all of the backup generators. Of 3,800 hogs, only about 20 survived. As yet, Altena says they’ve made no arrests. He says, “We do have a couple of people of interest, no real solid suspects yet at this time, but some people of interest that we’re looking at.” Altena says they’re sifting through several pieces of information that might help them crack the investigation open.
“We’re also going through quite a bit of evidence that we were able to gather together so we’ve gotta’ take a look at all of that and see if that points in any particular direction,” he says. They’re also waiting on the results of some tests on evidence that was sent to a state lab in Ankeny. Altena says they have reason to believe the deaths were caused by deliberate actions of an individual or individuals. The loss of the pigs is estimated at more than $200,000.
Contributed by Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton