Investigators are trying to figure out why and how the bodies of eight dead calves were left in a driveway of a north Columbus home.
The carcasses were discovered by someone driving past the home on Sunbury Road.
Bob Deis said that he nearly missed the dead animals, but a passenger in his car spoke up.
"We were driving down Sunbury Road going to a real estate appointment, and my property manger looked down here and said, 'Bob, there's dead deer laying down there,'" Deis said.
Deis, a former employee of the Division of Wildlife, said that he stopped to investigate.
At the end of the sloped driveway, he found two piles of carcasses, but they were not the bodies of deer.
"They're dead calves," Deis said.
Three carcasses were in one pile, and five were in another. Their ears were tagged, but they had no visible injuries to their bodies.
"They haven't been here very long, because there's no predators eating them," Deis said.
A spokeswoman with the Ohio Department of Agriculture said that what happened at the vacant home was a crime.
"There are four legal ways to dispose of livestock carcasses," said Erica Pitchford with the Department of Agriculture. "They are burial, burning, composting or rendering."
The state said that the biggest concern is disease.
"We don't know how these animals died," Pitchford said. "We don't know what they could have been sick with or if they were put down. If they were sick, they were infected with something. Leaving the carcasses out could expose other animals to it."
If the animals died of non-natural causes, the Pitchford said that the state wants to know how.
The department told 10TV News on Tuesday that they planned to remove the carcasses and take them back to headquarters to be disposed of. No further testing would be conducted because of costs, officials said.
So does the man who found the dead animals.
"You always hate to see an animal mistreated," Deis said. "Whoever did it should be found and prosecuted."
The Department of Agriculture will have a veterinarian at the scene on Tuesday to investigate.
Officials said that no one has come forward to report missing animals.
Anyone with information is asked to call the ODA's Division of Animal Health line at 614-728-6220.
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