WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Three horses in Texoma - one just a colt - are shot and killed on private land in Woodson and a family wants justice. The O'Dell family believes at least one person shot their beloved horses in their pasture sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning.
The O'Dells are cattle ranchers who have leased the land where the horses were kept for about a decade. Shawn O'Dell says when his father went to go check on the horses Sunday morning - he found them dead.
Their mare, Goldie, had been in the O'Dell family for almost two decades. She was Shawn O'Dell's grandfather's horse.
When Goldie became unable to work the O'Dell's put her out to pasture on a small farm located on FM 1710 about five miles North of Woodson where the O'Dell's lease land. She shared the pasture with her colt Goldie Jr. and a gelding named Jack.
Shawn O'Dell says when his father found the horses Sunday morning they were scattered across the pasture.
"They were separated - maybe 50 to 100 yards between all three of them. He called me, of course, they were dead."
The bodies were decomposing quickly in the heat. O'Dell says he saw the bullet hole's entry and exit wounds in the mare's head - confirming his theory that the horses were shot instead of killed any other way. He and his father got a backhoe and dug a grave. O'Dell says the Throckmorton County Deputy came out that afternoon to look for evidence.
The O'Dell family is devastated. Two words sum up their feelings.
"Sad and empty. My whole family knew Goldie. It was my grandad's horse and his last one so that's kind of the end of that."
The O'Dell's say they don't know who would do something like this or why. Many questions remain and hope for tips leading to an arrest. In the meantime, Shawn O'Dell has a message for the shooter.
"I hope you can live with it because someday it will catch up. Here or later...eventually it will catch up with you."
The family is offering a reward. If you have any leads in this case please contact the Throckmorton Sheriff's Office at 940-849-3431 or message Shawn O'Dell on his Facebook page.