Palmetto, Florida -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office is reporting that a show horse was found slaughtered on Sunday in Palmetto.
The owner of Imperial Farms, Steve Stephens, said the horse, Phedras De Blondel, had just arrived in the United States recently.
"Horrible...unbelievable," he said.
His wife noticed their brand new horse was missing Sunday morning. A search led to a broken fence. Then -- the discovery.
"Just dismembered him right there and just left his rib cage and his neck and head. All four legs were cut off of him. I don't mean at the knee, I mean from his shoulder," Stephens said.
Investigators believe the horse was slaughtered sometime between 8:00 p.m. and 6:45 a.m. They believe the suspects slaughtered the horse for meat.
"This type of thing has been going on in our state, not here though," said Dave Bristow with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
Bristow said the penalty for this crime includes burglary, animal cruelty and even more charges potentially.
"It's a horrible crime scene and obviously for the owner to have to go through this is just absolutely terrible," he added.
Phedras de Blondel may have just arrived, but he was still considered family and Stephens has words for whoever did it.
"You're horrible people, the worst. That's all I could say."
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.