Why is Law Enforcement still stalling the Heber Horse Killer Investigation?

It's the same old story, the Forest Service and Navajo County law enforcement buddies are intentionally failing to bring the Heber Horse killer to justice. For how many years have we pleaded with them to do something about the illegal killing of our animals in the Sitgreaves National Forest around Heber? All we received from these guys was patronizing lies and/or silence.

Then three years ago after a single call to the poaching tip line, AZGF took on the investigation and guess what? A dedicated investigator was able to solve the great mystery which ended up with the arrest of Blake Owens for egregious poaching crimes in our National Sitgreaves Forest!

Now here's the catch ... since the beautiful Heber Wild Horses are under a protective federal law status, the National Forest Service is solely responsible for the investigation of their slaughter.

Unfortunately AZGF cannot help us with the deaths of the horses and the Forest Service is trying to bury the case.

There's two good reasons why I believe this to be true.

First, an individual who works in the investigative unit of the Forest Service has become so frustrated with this deceitful investigation that they are leaking detailed information about evidence obtained from the poachers cell phone. This person has been posting this information to the Sitgreaves National Forest Facebook page starting back in March.

The poacher, Blake Owens loved to film his nighttime kills in the forest and saved them all on his phone which is now confiscated evidence at the Forest Service so there's lots of gory detail to share.

The second reason I am convinced this case has been buried is from what I learned during my phone call with the brand new Forest Service Supervisor of Region 3.

His name is Anthony Madrid and he had only been on this job three weeks when we talked. He had been briefed on the fact that they were looking for a horse killer in Heber but can you believe he told me he did not know a thing about the arrest of the poacher and the cell phone evidence of even more crimes? And it was in that very same section of the forest!

Lastly, why do I think Navajo County has tried to hide this arrest? Did it bother anyone else that was no press release from AZGF letting the public know about the poacher arrest back in January? Navajo County Sheriff usually posts these press releases for this area and there was nada mentioned. The only reason any of us know about the arrest of the poacher is due to a leaked article from a hunting magazine that I gave to the paper a couple weeks ago.

It's very hard to deny that there is massive corruption here. Several people are being protected and treated like they are above the law. There is good reason to want to cover this up because we are all going to be shocked with what is on that cell phone evidence.

The Forest Service wants to start reducing the herd in Heber and I am saying that they already started that elimination illegally and need to be stopped and punished like the rest of us would be if we were caught committing crimes.

Cindy Miller


(9) comments


You’ve been watching to much TV! This is all speculation on your part. I don’t condone the game poaching. I really don’t condone you using someone’s name with zero evidence; zero! The FS gets blamed for everything by everyone. If they had sufficient evidence they would file charges. I’m guessing they don’t. I can’t believe I wasted three minutes of time on this boring topic.


The Forest Service appears to have greatly exaggerated the number of horses officially. There’s a vast discrepancy between AZGF (obtained by fly overs) & the FS in their horse counts. Even considering unseen bands, the FS's "estimated" count appears greatly embellished.

I actually suspect that the mass killing of 16 horses back in January was an Extortion Attempt against a Federal Agency (the FS) to persuade them to draft policies & data regarding the horses (in a Management Report set to come out in Feb), which are favorable to "someone's" special interests.

LE must be willing and able to properly investigate & enforce the Law. If some can't, for whatever reasons, then those people need to either leave LE, or recuse themselves in certain cases so that equal administration of the law is possible and there is equal justice for the victims of crimes.

Those horses are victims of crime. All the people who loved those horses and received peace in their spirits by observing the beauty of the horses in their wild & free state are victims of crime. Honest hunters are victims of poaching crimes. Animals who deserve to live out their lives with a fair advantage in sustainable numbers are the victims of poaching crimes. AZGF officials are reputable hunters for the most part. They had no conflicts in enforcing their laws of the land. Hopefully the rest of LE in the WMs will follow that example and do what's right & what they are hired to do.

I don't know for sure if the Sheriff's Department or the FS is burying the evidence in the horse killings case. Admittedly, it appears so.

But here's the thing... there is a small group of aggressive people in Heber (bullies really) who consider themselves above the law & they have, so far, been getting their way, over & over again. But the majority of people in Heber/Overgaard; the greater White Mountains; other parts of Arizona; and even in the USA at large love those horses! (Make no mistake about it, the horses are loved.) They out number the few who assault the horses by far, and it's their forest too.

So LE, bring the horse killers to justice! That's what the greater public wants. That's what the horses & all of us who were traumatized by those killings deserve. And, it's the proper enforcement of the laws of the land you are sworn

to uphold in your profession.


Absolutely!! Well stated. What's horrible is this small group of bullies (and especially one family in particular) love to go around bashing other people who go against their agenda or disagree with them. They will lie about other members of the community and they love to hang out in the local facebook groups bullying everyone they can. So sick of it!! I really hope they are brought to justice but sadly I don't think much will change and they are giving this community a bad name. I really hope no one supports their businesses as they don't deserve it but sadly most outsiders won't know until they've had the unfortunate experience to get on one of their bad sides.


We are all very proud of Blake. He's a hero.


Why do you think he's a hero?


because the horses are a nuscence.


Are you really Matt Owens? I dont believe you are.


Wow, just wow. Does law enforcement still refuse to consider certain people for this crime? Perhaps that's the bigger story here!


This is what law enforcement has been doing for probably over 20 years. All of the heartbroken victims of these brutal crimes are treated with complete silence. Its cruel and completely disrepectful of the people that pay taxes to be protected not scammed. I have filed a civil rights violation report based on the Crime Control Act of 1990. Tomorrow I am mailing an official citizen complaint with all related documents to US Attorney Micheal Bailey's office in Phoenix. We are not going away this time.

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