Bainbridge family posts $5,000 reward after horses killed

Monday, July 9, 2018

BAINBRIDGE -- Authorities are investigating the brutal killing of two horses in a field near Bainbridge last week, an incident that understandably still infuriates the landowner, Terry Phillips.

"I want people to be aware we may have somebody living among us who's a sick SOB," Phillips told the Banner Graphic after the animals were reportedly shot in the face at close range, likely sometime the night of Sunday, July 1.

Karen Phillips found the two mares dead in the field the next morning when she went out to feed them.

A criminal investigation is under way in the case but is just in its initial phase, authorities noted. However, the killings definitely were intentional and not a result of an accident, it was noted.

To help find the culprits who would shoot such defenseless animals on someone else's property, the Phillipses have established a Go Fund Me page to create a reward. The family is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the person or persons responsible for killing the horses -- mares Kat and Mama -- which were expected to be shown at the Putnam County Fair later this month by Ryan Phillips, 15, and Jenna VanRensselaer, 12.

The horses were taken to the Purdue University Veterinary Department, where medical examination revealed what the Phillipses had feared most.

"They confirmed they died from projectiles," Terry Phillips said, alluding to bullets or shells from a weapon for which investigators are still seeking the precise caliber.

The shooting came at close range, authorities said, with the horses having suffered fractured ribs and nasal cavities as a result of the senseless, brutal attack.

Flyers noting the reward have been posted at several locations, including Speedway and other local gas stations, Burdge Boots, TSC and Headley Hardware.

Anyone with information may contact the Putnam County Sheriff's Office at 653-3211.

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  • No words. Just plain senseless act of cruelty.

    -- Posted by kbmom on Mon, Jul 9, 2018, at 9:56 PM
  • Oh my goodness. There is no reason for this. Who hates their life so much as to kill a horse? I hope they find the people/person responsible.

    -- Posted by BlackBarbie22 on Mon, Jul 9, 2018, at 10:42 PM
  • Sick, worthless, waste-of-space people breathing my air shouldn't roam the earth. I'm donating to the Go Fund Me now.

    -- Posted by Ben Dover on Tue, Jul 10, 2018, at 8:21 AM
  • If someone kills a defenseless animal, think what they would they could do to a human. I honestly wonder if they if this was related to the fair competition

    -- Posted by Wastintime on Tue, Jul 10, 2018, at 12:06 PM
  • Wastintime,

    I agree with your statement, "if someone could kill a defenseless animal, think what they could do to a human" however, I don't for one minute think that a 4Her would do something like this just to win a competition at the fair. You must not be too familiar with Putnam County 4H because everyone is like a family and 4H kids are taught to help one another.

    My heart goes out to the family and the kids that lost their animals. From experience raising animals for 4H, they are a part of your family and it saddens me that someone could do something like this.

    -- Posted by putcoresident84 on Tue, Jul 10, 2018, at 7:34 PM
  • *

    @putcoresident84 - Anyone is capable of anything if subjected to right number and types of situational variables at the right time(s). But like you, I also doubt it has anything to do with 4H...

    My bet is that it's someone that lives within proximity to the owners of the animals who had an axe to grind. Have they had any disputes with anyone within the past year or so?

    If it was done the night of July 1st (a Sunday), you'd have to have a major problem with someone to kill BOTH horses this way, which leads me to believe it's unlikely anyone under 30. Call me crazy but it sounds like a 40+ guy, likely an alcoholic, probably divorced and hates his job. He (obviously) owns a firearm but could be a known local hunter type who's familiar with the locale. Any local roads where it happened? Might check for tire tracks, discarded trash--maybe get a print? I'm betting a canvas of the area would reveal a lot about the area, probably at least 1 person with a criminal history.

    The first thing I'd do is try to determine the caliber of round then look for footprints or signs of brush breakage, blood stains, etc. and see if any paths can be calculated from the multiple points of disruption.

    Then again, maybe I've watched too many crime shows...

    Either way, I really hope they get whoever did this.

    -- Posted by DouglasQuaid on Tue, Jul 10, 2018, at 9:15 PM
  • I go to bed tonight with a very heavy heart. This is devastating.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Phillips family.

    May the police make an arrest soon and justice be swift.

    Can someone share their Go Fund Me page?

    -- Posted by hawkeyeinindiana on Tue, Jul 10, 2018, at 11:52 PM
  • My heart is broken over this story. The culprits are sick, legitimately mentally ill. No reason to hurt animals. None.

    -- Posted by ljchew on Thu, Jul 12, 2018, at 2:06 AM
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