Deputies searching for suspects involved in horse shooting

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FREEMAN, S.D. Tammy Hubert was celebrating her granddaughter's birthday Saturday and left her farm for the afternoon. When she returned later that evening nothing seemed out of the ordinary along the dirt roads, farm equipment, or animals roaming the area. A foul stench became hard to miss Sunday, and she had a gut wrenching feeling that it could not be good when she noticed three of her four horses were on the pasture. Her worst fear was realized as she rounded the corner of the barn and found her horse Cricket shot and killed.

"She was part of my family and somebody had ripped her away from us," Hubert said.

Deputies have examined the scene and found a few clues that could help them find a responsible party.

"We have about two or three very good leads," said Hutchinson County Sheriff's Deputy Maurice Waltner. "We have some foot prints and some tire tracks that we're following up on."

Cricket has been part of the Hubert family for 13 years and left a big hoof print on more than just the family. Even the other three horses: Chance, Diego, and Sonny notice Cricket's absence.

She is currently buried behind the barn she was so accustomed to inhabiting in Freeman.