Daughter-in-law of horse farm owner speaks out

PLEASANT PRAIRIE (WITI) -- The daughter-in-law of a Pleasant Prairie horse farm owner is speaking out about the horrible conditions found on the property.

Sherry Moctezuma, daughter-in-law of Paula White, said she wasn't surprised when police seized 24 horses and found mass graves of more than 50 horses. White and her husband David are facing felony charges for animal mistreatment leading to death.

"She's been doing this a long time and getting away with it," said Moctezuma. "The coyotes would go back there and dig up the bones of the horses because they didn't bury them very deep."

Moctezuma worked on the farm from 2003 to 2006 and said conditions went from bad to worse. She called police about the health of the horses in 2008 and 2009.

"She didn't feed them right. People would get upset about how horses were losing weight," said Moctezuma.

Deputy Chief David Mogensen says officers responded to both reports, and brought a veterinarian in one case.

"The vet did go on the property, did an analysis of the horses that were there and found that some of them were just minorly malnourished," said Mogensen.

The couple was ordered to feed the animals properly and to allow the vet to re-examine the horses at a later date.

"The veterinarian did re-examine them and they met conditions and they were fine," said Mogensen.

Mogensen said officers have visited the property about a dozen times over the years. They never found enough evidence to issue a search warrant for the entire farm until an anonymous complaint came in around April 9th.

"We finally were able to get just what we needed," said Mogensen.

The Village of Pleasant Prairie plans to issue an order to have the site near the stream where several animal carcasses were found be completely excavated and replaced with new soil.

Officials are now trying to figure out exactly where all of the horses on the farm came from. Police are asking anyone with information to call authorities.

You can also call Crimestoppers if you wish to remain anonymous There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.