Multiple agencies investigating after two cows killed, one decapitated in foothills

Two dead cows, one of which was decapitated, were found last Thursday on a rural road near Stonyford, in the western foothills of Colusa County. The Colusa County Sheriff’s Office and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife have said they are investigating.

“It’s an ongoing investigation now. There has been a little bit of evidence collected, and Fish and Wildlife is assisting us with the investigation,” Colusa County Sheriff’s Office investigator Mark Contreras said. When asked, Contreras declined to state whether investigators had a suspect or a person of interest.

“(Whether or not it was intentional) is pretty much what we’re trying to figure out. The decapitation was obviously not caused by a car accident, but cows can get loose up there,” Contreras said.

According to Slim Edwards, who provided this publication with pictures of the scene and said he came upon the animals while he was driving his daughter to a school bus stop, the cows were placed in the middle of the road and appeared to have been struck by a vehicle. At least one appeared to have been dragged for a considerable distance.

“They were fresh-bought bred heifers. The cows that were killed were getting ready to calve… Each dead animal had a county road sign over them,” Edwards said. “The first one was minus a head. The second one, there are gouge marks in the pavement for about 100 yards. It looks like they hit her and dragged her down the roadway… It was a great speed, because there was hair that came off that cow that was all along the far side of the roadway.”

Attempts to reach the owner of the cattle were unsuccessful.

Brian Pearson is the Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects include reporting on local government and the newly feature sports page. To contact Brian about this article, or for future articles, please email him at