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Number Of Dead Cattle Grows In Bizarre South Bay Investigation

MORGAN HILL (KPIX 5) -- Investigators in Santa Clara County have now found nearly a dozen cattle dead near Henry Coe State Park outside of Morgan Hill.

Authorities believe cattle paid the price for a dispute over ranch land and the killer tried to bury the evidence.

The sheriff's office says the cattle were discovered in a shallow grave on the land of a Morgan Hill ranch on Thursday and may have gone undetected for several weeks on what is now an expanding crime scene.

"Yesterday, we found nine dead livestock. And that number's 11 now," said Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith.

Investigators say the cattle's deaths may be tied to a dispute between the property owner and ranchers with grazing rights on the land.

But right now, the sheriff's office says no arrests have been made. They are still trying to figure out exactly how the animals died.

"We're still looking at that. We had veterinarians out at the scene, and they'll be able to perform the necropsy and determine the cause of death. But everything's under investigation," said Smith.

Video shot by Sky Drone 5 of the land showed few signs of the grisly crime investigators think happened here.

The sheriff's office said they have some of the missing cattle alive, but fear the death toll may yet grow.

"They were in graves. And we used the county's Parks Department equipment to scoop up an area we knew they were in," said Smith.

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