The relief felt by many Floridians and others across the country that detectives might have a viable lead into the brutal killing of Phedras de Blondel has come to a quick end this weekend. On Nov. 8 the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, Dave Bristow, confirmed the buzz that the two men seen on surveillance pictures have been found and identified, but they were not involved with the crime and were unable to give new information.
Both men were at a nearby store early in the morning and just before the butchered carcass was discovered at the farm in rural Palmetto. They were driving a rather unusual conversion van that was also captured on a surveillance camera.
The ruthless killing of the valuable Grand Prix horse has stirred up the horse community. Local and national horse lovers continue to convey their staunch support for the owners of Phedras and outrage at the unmitigated audacity of the butchers. The prized show jumper was purchased by Debbie Stephens in Germany, underwent prerequisite quarantine and arrived in great shape a mere two days before his death at the hands of bold, brash butchers.
Phedras de Blondel was a big horse in stature and is estimated to have weighed around 1,300 pounds. It is thought that he was selected by the butchers because of his size. The horse was led from his own stall, along a path to the end of the property and killed for his meat. Again it is thought that the meat was slated for Florida’s black market in horse meat. Killing horses in Florida for their meat for human consumption is a punishable crime.
Authorities still believe that the motive for the horse’s killing was the meat. However, eating the meat from this particular horse is unsafe. It is considered unfit for human consumption since he was given a cocktail of medications that can be harmful to people.
Bristow admitted that he does not know if the two men in the pictures worked at a farm. He knows the men live in the area but does not know their occupations.
They were never suspects. We just wanted to talk to them, and we did find them and talked to them, and that is that.
Bristow stated that detectives are still seeking help from the public. He said, “We don’t have anything to disseminate right now.”
The public is urged to call sheriff’s office at 941-747-3011, ext. 2542 with any information. Tips can also be phoned in to Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS. There is a substantial reward offered by Crime Stoppers and the Stephens
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said their investigation into the horse’s slaughter is ongoing.