by Tim Church
CASSVILLE, Mo. – The Barry County Sheriff’s Office announces a Greenfield, Missouri man has been arrested in connection to the theft and neglect of 365 head of cattle.
Sheriff Mick Epperly reports an investigation began on May 22nd, when 35-year-old Greg DeJager reported over 50 head of cattle had been stolen or gone missing from a farm he leased near Wheelerville, in Barry County.
Upon further investigation Barry County Detective Henry determined DeJager’s story to be a lie and a search warrant was served to the property leased by DeJager.
On the property a total of 365 neglected, emaciated and starving cows, calves and bulls were discovered. Detectives also located at least 40 dead cattle on the property in various stages of decomposition.
It was discovered that DeJager had been advertising his services to cattle owners on numerous online pages and sites, only to collect the fee and neglect the cattle. It’s also believed he would sell or move cattle and then report them missing or stolen to the owners.
DeJager was arrested in Lawrence County by the Missouri State Highway Patrol on Thursday, June 2nd, for passing a bad check. While being held in the Lawrence County Jail, Barry County additionally issued charges for felony stealing and animal neglect.
This investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are expected to be made.