The owners of Kauai Kunana Dairy are breathing a small sigh of relief after police arrested two men in the killing of a goat and her two unborn babies.
The four-year-old goat was slain one week before she was due to give birth. The size of the reward — $11,000 — for information leading to the arrest and conviction for the animal’s grisly murder was remarkable. And so was the reaction of the community in Kilauea, on Kauai’s north shore, which largely funded the reward through donations.
“We’re getting a little closer to feeling safe,” co-owner Louisa Wooten told Civil Beat by phone on Thursday. “Knowing that there are a couple of drug-crazed people not on the streets anymore makes us feel better.”
The Wootens publicly made note of the arrest on their Facebook page on Thursday afternoon saying:
“Yesterday the Kauai Police Department arrested two individuals suspected of killing our goat Kaitlyn. They confiscated the shotgun used, and were waiting for more details from the prosecutor. We will release more info as it becomes available.”
The Kauai Police Department announced Friday afternoon that Russell Hoomanawanui and Ryan Winchell, both 29 years old, had been arrested for first degree criminal property damage, second degree theft, theft of livestock and firearm violations. Winchell’s bail was set at $8,100, Hoomanawanui’s at $8,000. Both posted bail and were released.
Police said sometime between 5 p.m., April 28 and 3:30 p.m., April 29, the suspects reportedly climbed over a fence in order to get the goat. She had been kept in a pasture at the farm in Moloaa, on Kauai’s northeastern shore.
Police said the men slaughtered the goat and left her organs and unborn kids behind. The owners estimate the death of the goat, a Saanen doe, will result in a loss of roughly $7,000 in production, annually. The farm keeps about 60 goats and specializes in artisan goat cheeses and goat milk.
At the scene, the Wootens said they found a pair of sunglasses, unspent shotgun shells and a Winchester hunting knife.
Wooten told Civil Beat they’ve known the arrest was coming for over a week. She said her family isn’t familiar with the two suspects. They weren’t acquaintances, she said. Wooten also said she suspected drugs may have been involved in the incident.
Police aren’t releasing any details of the arrest yet, including the names of the suspects.
“We’re told they’re trying to put charges together,” Wooten said. “We want these people to be convicted, so we’re doing all we can to help the prosecutor put together a solid case.”
Anyone with information about the case is urged to call Kauai Police Dispatch at 241-1711 or Crime Stoppers at 241-1887.
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