Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19498
Classification: Mutilation/Torture
Animal: horse
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Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012


Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Darrell Mowatt

A man has been arrested for severing a horse's head in what police have described as a 'bizarre and senseless' killing.

Darrell Mowat, 28, allegedly dismembered a large horse and left the head in the rear of a pickup truck belonging to an associate.

However, police said the killing was more likely to be 'a gruesome and ill-conceived prank' rather than a true threat along the lines of the infamous horse's head scene in The Godfather movie.

It is believed the horse, a two-year-old Percheron large workhorse named Joe, would have endured much pain and suffering in the killing, reports the Niagara Falls Review.

Mowat of Niagara Falls, Canada has been charged with breaking, entering and killing cattle, willfully causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal.

Niagara Regional Police were called after the remains were spotted in the back of a truck in the Falls on Wednesday morning.

Staff Sgt. Michael Woods told the Review that their investigation led them to a farm in the rural south end of Niagara Falls on Thursday night, where they found the dismembered carcass of a horse.

Mowat had been working as a volunteer farmhand for Wendell Palmer, the owner of Canaan Farm, who said it was his horse that was killed.

'I was shocked. I worked with him all day Tuesday and there wasn't even a hint,' Palmer, whose farm has about 20 horses, told the Review.

Woods said the incident is one of the most bizarre he's seen in 23 years as a police officer.

'It's definitely an unusual and disturbing incident,' he said.

'From our perspective, it's a criminal offense. We're not taking it as a joke,' he said.

The incident has been likened to a scene in the 1972 movie The Godfather, when Jack Woltz wakes up to find the severed head of his prized racehorse in his bed.

However, Woods said there is nothing to indicate this was a threat or is linked to organized crime.

'The investigating detectives are still attempting to determine the mind set and motives of the accused,' Woods told the Review.

Mowat is in police custody and is expected to make a video appearance in court on Wednesday morning.

Mowat's father Joel Mowat described his son as troubled and said he's concerned for his son's well-being

'I'm going to do what I can as a parent and hope everything works out.' he told the Review.

They are still investigating though. If you have any information, call police at 905-688-4111 x2200 or contact Crime Stoppers.

References

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