Humane Society starts digging for bones on Trexler farm - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Humane Society starts digging for bones on Trexler farm

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Humane Society has confiscated 28 horses they found malnourished on a property that at one point was owned by the Trexler family.
But authorities say the animals were kept on at least four different properties.

Officials have searched one of the properties in Sumter for a few days, and Saturday they took their investigation one step further.

It's the first time the Humane Society has been allowed to dig on the property off Brewington Road, and so far they've found hundreds of horse bones in shallow graves.

"To just find them randomly scattered throughout a pasture, not dug into the ground very deeply, just a shallow grave, it's very unusual and this amount of carcases that we're finding is unusual," says Humane Society spokesperson Kelly Graham.

The Humane Society says the property once belonged to the Trexlers, and News 10 has learned the land is now owned by Wells Fargo.

"Just because based on history of what we've been learning about the Trexlers and other properties we're very suspicious as to why these animals died," says Graham.

By digging up the bones the Humane Society is hoping to learn two things -- how the horses died and how long they've been dead.
Investigators say they can test the bone marrow to find out if the horses were malnourished. The bones will be sent to Florida State University to be tested, and every horse skeleton that is found will equal another charge for the Trexler.

"We're going to follow every lead that we get and they keep coming in, so this could potentially end up to be a lot bigger than it is," says Graham.

Hazel Trexler and her two sons were in court Thursday facing animal cruelty charges.

James Trexler, who is also the state's Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture, is out on bond.

His brother Terry Trexler is still in jail. He faces 23 counts of ill treatment of animals.

Their mother Hazel Trexler is also still in jail. She faces 28 counts of ill treatment of animals.

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