Investigators have leads on dump of hundreds of dead chickens

Thursday, June 10, 2010 | 3:48 p.m. CDT; updated 4:21 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 10, 2010

WASHBURN — Barry County officials said they have some leads in the illegal dumping of 600 to 700 dead chickens, but many people are unwilling to talk to investigators.

The dead birds were found on Memorial Day weekend in Flat Creek northeast of Washburn.

The Joplin Globe reported that Sheriff Mick Epperly said some new information came in Wednesday concerning two vehicles seen in the area around the time the chickens were dumped.

But Epperly said investigators are having a hard time because many people in the Washburn area have been reluctant to discuss the case.

Epperly said it's likely the chickens belonged to a contract grower for George's Inc., which operates a chicken processing plant near Washburn. He said the chickens did not die from a disease and likely suffocated when they were being shipped.

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