MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is investigating what appears to be the shooting death of two horses.
Deputies found their remains on a Scandia farm, and the man deputies arrested for the crime has been in the news before.
William St. Sauver Jr. is being held in the Washington County Jail on suspicion of damage to property, obscuring an investigation and cruelty to animals.
Back in August, WCCO-TV interviewed St. Sauver as he searched for his pet alligators on Goose Lake.
He said they’d been stolen and released into the lake, but investigators thought otherwise.
Days later, he was charged with harboring an exotic animal.
Now, St. Sauver is looking at the possibility of much more serious charges.
The owner of the dead horses, Gloria Fritz, lives in St. Paul.
She asked William St. Sauver’s parents to board her two American Saddlebred mares at their farm for a few months until she could have them moved to Chicago.
Sunday she got a call from St. Sauver saying that the horses had been shot and killed.
“I knew something was wrong, right away in the whole conversation,” she said.
Gloria says she immediately drove to the St. Sauver farm.
She didn’t believe St. Sauver’s story that deer hunters had shot her two horses.
“And then I said, ‘Where are the horses?’ I said, ‘They are not out in the pasture, where are the horses?’ He says ‘Oh,’ he says, ‘I buried them yesterday,’” Fritz said.
When WCCO-TV went to the St. Sauver farm in August, cameras recorded Fritz’s two mares in a fenced-in area close to the family’s house.
“And I said I want to go see where you buried those horses, I want to see where the horses are, I want to dig those horses up, and have an autopsy done. I said this whole thing doesn’t make sense to me,” Fritz said.
She says when St. Sauver was unable to show her the horses’ remains, she asked Washington County deputies to search.
The next morning, she says deputies found him on a tractor in a cornfield, burying the horses.
“In the hole were two legs of my one mare, she was two-thirds of the way covered over with dirt,” Fritz said. “His goal was to cover them over and bury them quickly. The other one was still on top of the ground,” she said.
Deputies were back at the farm Tuesday, executing a search warrant at the house and adjacent buildings.
“I feel sorry for the family,” Fritz said. “The mother I love, and the father has been wonderful to me. I can’t understand what happened to the son, this is not like that family.”
She thinks William St. Sauver intended to sell the horses, but his plan fell apart.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office would not go into detail about the case Tuesday. They are still in the middle of investigating what happened.
Meanwhile, the horses’ remains are at the University of Minnesota. Veterinarians there are working on autopsies to confirm exactly how they were killed and approximately when.