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Investigation into 13 dead cows found in Summit County is inconclusive

The investigation into the dead cows is complete. It was inconclusive.
Cheryl Simpkiss
The dead cows found by the Rail Trail in Summit County. The investigation into the deaths is inconclusive.

13 cows were found dead along the Rail Trail in Summit County back in November of 2023. The investigation into the deaths has been ruled inconclusive.

The cows were found in a pasture between Promontory and State Route 248. Bailee Woolstenhulme, from the Utah Department of Agriculture, said the death of the cattle was mysterious because cows have grazed in the same pasture for years. It’s also strange because all 13 cows were pregnant.

Woolstenhulme said the rest of the herd, around 60 cows, were moved so the department could investigate.

“They ran several different tests over several months, some tests even went to a specialized lab in California, to try to figure out the cause of death," she said. "But ultimately, all tests came back negative or inconclusive.”

That means the cause of death can’t be determined.

The department conducted autopsies on the animals and collected samples of the surrounding environment and water. It also ran tests to see if there were any toxic plants. All the results were negative.

The pasture is now cleared to be used, but Woolstenhulme said she’s unsure if the cows will be brought back to the area or not.

Authorities said there is no ongoing threat to the public.