UPDATE, May 12: Investigators have determined that over a dozen goats and sheep found slain in a northeast El Paso desert area earlier this week were actually killed in New Mexico, authorities said Tuesday, and a suspect was being questioned.
The El Paso Police Department's animal cruelty unit said it turned over to New Mexico officials the highly-publicized case that a game warden theorized may have been linked to some type of "satanic ritual."
Texas Parks and Wildlife did not investigate the case - initially referring it to EPPD - as the agency determined it involved domesticated goats and not wildlife, but Capt. Ray Spears told ABC-7 it was unusual to find animals like that.
The New Mexico Livestock Board confirmed to ABC-7 that it was now leading the probe and had identified a suspect who was undergoing questioning.
A board official said they had also identified the owner of the animals and were working to determine how the goats and sheep came to be killed and dumped in El Paso.
ORIGINAL REPORT, May 10: EL PASO, Texas -- Authorities were investigating the discovery Monday of as many as 15 animal carcasses dumped near a northeast El Paso intersection in what may have been some sort of "satanic" incident.
The decapitated and gutted sheep and goats were found by a resident near Dyer Street and Railroad Drive who alerted authorities. He also contacted ABC-7.
"It did not look like the portions for eating were removed from the goats. The bodies seem intact," said Capt. Ray Spears, a game warden with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department familiar with the finding but who did not investigate the case. "Satanic rituals, blood removal, possibly. Not a common occurrence to see that many goats dumped like that."
Spears indicated that the area where the discarded animal remains where located is "popular for dumping because there are not many people to see them, especially at night. Pull up, drag them off the back of a pickup, and get out of there."
The El Paso Police Department was investigating the incident as a case of animal cruelty, according to a spokesperson for the animal control unit.