Authorities believe the discovery of 15 animal carcasses dumped near a road in El Paso, Texas, on Monday may have been linked to “satanic” worship.
A resident found decapitated and gutted sheep and goats near the Dyer Street and Railroad Drive intersection in the northeast of the city.
“It did not look like the portions for eating were removed from the goats. The bodies seem intact,” Capt. Ray Spears, a game warden with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department told KVIA.com. “Satanic rituals, blood removal, possibly. Not a common occurrence to see that many goats dumped like that.”
Spears said the area where they found the animal remains 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 said it was investigating the incident as a case of animal cruelty.
Some satanists have been known to perform animal sacrifices in order to invoke “spirits” and goats have often been found at the scenes of crimes thought to be inspired by devil worship.
The sabbatical goat was adopted as the official symbol —called the Sigil of Baphomet—of the Church of Satan, and continues to be used among satanists.
On May 8, an Alabama man was freed on a bond after he was arrested for the alleged involvement in the killing of an animal during what authorities said was a “ritual sacrifice” during training in Georgia for a white supremacist group.
Brandon Gregory Ashley, 27, of Hayden, Alabama, was extradited last week to Rome, Georgia, from the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham, Alabama, and later released on a $10,000 bond from the Floyd County Jail, The Rome News-Tribune reported.
Floyd County prosecutors identified the animal, which they say was killed during a meeting of the group in October 2019, as a ram, while federal prosecutors said it was a goat.
The previous year, Dominick Tidd, of Groton, Massachusetts, was charged with stealing a young goat named Marshmallow from a home in Ashburnham and slashing the its throat. Police said the goat was probably killed as part of a satanic ritual on the Summer Solstice, according to local media.