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Sheriff investigates suspicious deaths of two dogs near Cortez

Not enough evidence for criminal charges, says Sheriff Steve Nowlin; case remains open

The Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office has investigated the suspicious deaths of two dogs over a period of two months, but has not found sufficient evidence to initiate criminal charges.

According to a July 7 incident report written by Deputy Tomas Parker, a woman reported July 5 that she found her dog dead at a residence in McElmo Canyon.

The mixed breed dog was found dead in a vertical position attached to a leash wrapped around a bar overhead, according to Parker’s report.

According to the report, another man said he arrived home May 12 to find his dog dead and hanging by its leash out a broken window of his trailer on Road 25, according to the report. The dog had several cuts and puncture wounds on its snout and side of its body, and an open wound around its neck.

He said that when he had left the residence earlier that day, the dog was not on a leash.

The incident report contains a lot of accusations, circumstantial evidence, and hearsay from the reporting parties as to what may have happened and potential suspects, said Sheriff Steve Nowlin.

However, Nowlin said that at this stage in the investigation, there was not enough evidence to file charges that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to the report, leads have been exhausted, and the case is inactive, but Nowlin said that does not mean the case is closed.