WAKEFIELD, Va. - Under baby blue skies and puffy white clouds, surrounded by tallemerald trees and lush green pastures... streaks of blood-redcarnage.
The Murphy family awoke on their peaceful farm in Sussex CountyFriday morning to make a gruesome discovery. Eleven oftheir farm animals had been mutilated and killed in the middle ofthe night, and the Murphy's never heard a sound.
"It was devastating," said Edwin Murphy whose family establishedthe farm on Rocky Hock Rd. in 1851. "This was gruesome, likea war zone."
Edwin was the first in the family to step out into the pastureand find that someone or something had torn all of their animals toshreds. Brutus the cow, two goats, three chickens and fiveducks... all dead.
"One of the goats was completely turned inside out, alot of theinternal organs were missing," huffed Edwin. "They were attackedfrom the front and the rear at the same time."
These were not typical livestock. The Murphy family says theywere pets, like cats and dogs are to most people.
"The chickens and ducks were hatched here, raised from littleones on up. And the cow, I received him as a small calf andbottle-fed him. He walks on a leash, interacts with all theyoung'uns. We hand feed him on a daily basis," saidEdwin.
His wife, Lorraine, was inside asleep when Edwin ran into thebedroom. He was frantic.
"He came running in, 'Oh my God get up!! All the animalshave been mutilated right there in the yard!!'" said Lorraine, hereyes starting to well up with tears. "So immediately Ijumped up and ran out and we found a massacre. It looked likesomething you would see in a horrible movie."
The Murphys called 911 and soon two Sussex County Sheriff'sdeputies were standing over the dismembered animals. Beforelong a local animal control officer and a state wildlife biologistwere on the scene as well. Investigators examined the mangledanimal carcasses and several paw prints left behind by thekillers.
"They told us it was either a pack of wild dogs or some coyotesthat killed our animals," said Edwin.
Now the Murphys want to protect others from a similarattack.
"This is just heartwrenching. We want to make the localcommunity aware so they can take precautions so they don't have togo through the devastating ordeal that we have had to go throughtoday," said Lorraine. "Whatever did this to our animals, ifit can do that to a 400 pound cow, it can do anything to a child,an adult, it does not matter."
While local animal control officers continue to investigate theattacks, the Murphys have begun digging eleven graves for theirbeloved animals.
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