HOLLISTER, Calif. (KION-TV)- The San Benito High School District and San Benito County Sheriff's Office said that two suspects have been arrested after they killed a goat and a pig at Hollister High School.
Deputies said that school staff members discovered a goat that was bludgeoned to death at the agriculture building that houses the animals raised in the school's FFA program Tuesday morning.
"This was their first animal to raise and get ready for the festivals," said Commander Adam Lobdell with the San Benito County Sheriff's Office. "So there was a lot of effort the students put in to foster these animals and bring them out to be for show and everything,"
According to investigators, the two suspects entered the building and went towards the separated goat and pig pens, and killed a goat and a pig.
Lobdell said that the suspects also used an axe to break the fence and kill the animals.
A total of 16 surveillance cameras caught the suspects committing the crime and where they went after which was towards an encampment at around 11:30 p.m.
District officials said that surveillance video showed one of the suspects used one of the wheelbarrows to haul off the pig carcass. Deputies said the suspects left the goat carcass in the ag building.
Deputies said that both suspects went south towards the San Benito Riverbed.
With the assistance of the San Benito County District Attorney's Office, deputies found a makeshift homeless encampment along the riverbed and located a man who fit the description in the video.
"Subjects in the area that fit the physical description, he was found to be on probation, a little bit more search, and we found clothing consistent with what's in the video footage," said Lobdell. "And we also found a little ways from his camp, the actual pigs carcass that was hanging in a tree, and that we also found the stolen wheelbarrow used to haul the carcass away."
In a statement from the Hollister High School Agricultural Department,
"We had a veterinarian on site this morning doing wellness checks on the animals that are on site. We have had an outpouring of support from our community for our affected students and their families."
Investigators said the man was confirmed on probation, being open to search and seizure. Deputies and investigators further found in the suspect’s encampment clothing that was worn by the man in the incident.
Deputies also found ammunition and drugs in his possession during the search. The San Benito County Sheriff's Office said that they located the pig carcass hanging from a tree near the encampment.
Deputies arrested a man and a woman who will be charged with burglary, two counts of animal cruelty, conspiracy and grand theft.
The San Benito County Sheriff's Office confirmed that they are looking for a third male suspect in the case.
The San Benito School District said that all three suspects are not students at Hollister High School. District officials confirmed that the two animals were being raised by students for the Salinas Valley Fair.