The 21 horses found dead Friday at a southern Wake County property died of starvation, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office said.
There is a “person of interest” in the case, sheriff’s office spokesman Eric Curry said Wednesday, but that person has not been publicly identified.
The horses were found at 10305 Fanny Brown Road near the Middle Creek community, Curry said.
An elderly couple lived there until 16 years ago, when the husband died, according to Curry. The wife then moved off the property, which fell into disrepair. She died last year, Curry said.
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“It is uninhabitable,” Curry said of the home, adding that it is filled with mold.
The person of interest in the case knew the elderly couple, according to Curry.
Neighbors discovered the dead animals, including a dog, according to ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner.
One dog was found dead, and officials determined it died of starvation, Curry said. A dog that was found alive in a cage is now being cared for by Wake County Animal Control, Curry said.
As of Wednesday, all of the animals had been removed from the property, Curry said.