HENRY COUNTY, Mo. - A Missouri rancher is getting tired of making disturbing discoveries on her Henry County land. Lyn Mitchell said she is out of reasonable explanations for what's to blame for killing her livestock.
Mitchell said she's normally a private person, but the deaths of three of her cattle have her speaking out.
"It's just something I want some answers to," she said.
Mitchell found the first cow in December 2011.
"She had obviously been cut on the side of her jaw," Mitchell said. "Her tongue was gone, her ear was gone."
She initially assumed the animal had fallen victim to teenagers or was part of a sacrificial ritual, until earlier this month. Mitchell made the next discovery on July 9.
"I looked first to see her tongue was gone, then immediately noticed the udder had been completely removed," Mitchell said.
The reproductive organs were gone too, Mitchell said. A char mark outlining the cow's body - still visible today - made the death even more mysterious.
Finally on July 19, Mitchell found the third cow. She said its heart was exposed and its teats were cut off.
All three animals' tongues were also cut out.
Mitchell said the cuts all looked surgical with clean, precise incisions. And in all three deaths, Mitchell said there was no blood despite the animals' gaping wounds.
Since the cows graze in such an isolated place, nobody saw or heard a thing. Mitchell said the sheriff's department and a veterinarian have investigated, but can't come up with an answer.
"The more it happens, the more questions you get. And the more you learn, you find more and more things that make you ask more questions," Mitchell said.
With all other reasonable causes debunked, Mitchell said she is open to the possibility that extraterrestrial life could be responsible.
Similar cases of animal mutilation have been reported in Missouri in the past few years. The FBI nearly investigated in the 1970s. With the unsolved mysteries looming, aliens have become a common answer.
Mitchell is considering installing cameras to catch the person or thing in action the next time they visit her ranch. She just wants the killing to stop.
"Something happened to these cows and it's not something that you see every day, it's not in your normal, so something else is going on," Mitchell said.