Union County Sheriff’s officers say three men have been arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing and mutilation of a pet llama.
James Robert Lee, 18; Alexander Samuel Clark, 20; and Cody Wyatt Bray, 22; have been charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny, second-degree trespassing and felony cruelty to animals, arrest records indicate.
Authorities say the three men trespassed Wednesday onto Borderline Farms, a llama and alpaca farm on South Rocky River Road in Monroe. Lt. Greg Thomas said the men were charged in connection with the stabbing and mutilation of one of the llamas on the farm.
Tammy Limer, president of Borderline Farms, said her half-dozen llamas are meant to protect her 60 alpacas, which she shears once a year for fur.
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“Every one of them has a personality and a name. These are my pets. These are my kids,” she said. “She died protecting her herd.”
Liner said she doesn’t live on the farm but went to check on it Wednesday evening.
“I noticed that one of my gates was closed that I don’t ever close. I found that to be odd,” she said, noting that the 6-foot fence is electrified. “Then my dogs ran to the back of the pasture. That’s when I saw the innards of an animal.”
She said she wasn’t sure at first what animal it was. But then she noticed that 10-year-old Mighty, a llama, was missing.
“Someone had taken the entire body,” she said. “There was no body left except for the internal organs.”
The next day, she followed a trail of llama hair and blood, which led to the house of one of the suspects. That’s when she called authorities, she said.
The three men were arrested Saturday.
Limer said she discovered that the llama had been cut in half. Her body was found in two different places, said Union County Sheriff’s Capt. J.C. Luke.
Luke said the suspects told authorities where they put the two halves of the body. Half of the llama’s body was found in a pond on the farm and the other half was found on a dirt path along Walkup Road.
“By all indications, they had been drinking, and they just basically wanted to see what it would be like to kill an animal, to kill a llama,” Luke said. “There was no rhyme or reason to it.”
Limer, who has owned Borderline Farms for five years, said the 300-pound Mighty was one of her breeding llamas. She said that although she wasn’t one of the friendlier llamas, “she took her job very serious. And her job was to protect the herd.”
Limer said she hopes to never meet the three men arrested in connection with the death of Mighty.
Luke said that in his nearly 23 years in law enforcement, he has seem some “pretty heinous crimes.” But, he said, this one is particularly “disturbing.”
“I really can’t comprehend what facilitated this or what in their minds made them do this, the heinousness,” he said. “Llamas are fairly passive animals. For someone to do this – it’s a bizarre case all the way around.”