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Investigation continues into Ruch cows shooting

Detectives working to determine who shot three pregnant cows at a Ruch area ranch early this month continue to evaluate evidence found at the scene and hope for tips from people who know about the incident.

Jackson County Sheriff's Department Detective Sgt. Colin Fagan said the state crime lab is processing evidence collected at the pasture where three cows were shot with shotgun slugs near feed racks at Tim Hunter's ranch in the 6900 block of Highway 238. The shooting likely happened around 2 a.m. on Nov. 7, investigators said. One of the cows was dragged up a road off Highway 238 near Bishop Creek and crudely hacked up so the shooter or shooters could take a hindquarter.

Although details of the evidence collected aren't being released yet, Fagan said it could provide fingerprints or DNA from the suspects.

Investigators also still hope to hear from people who might know something about the case. Fagan said he was surprised that the department's tip line hasn't received any calls about the case yet.

Investigators had expected tips from people shocked by the violence against animals and those outraged by the monetary loss to the ranching family. Rewards offered by The Humane Society of the United States, the Rogue Valley Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, which uses the ranch property for glider landings, and Crime Stoppers of Southern Oregon added another $6,500 worth of incentive.

"Somebody knows something, and we want them to leave a tip," Fagan said. "We don't want anything like this to happen again."

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Sheriff's Department tip line at 774-8333 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 3-DETECT or (800) 333-8328.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485, or e-mail aburke@mailtribune.com.