Contractor to be charged in dumping of carcasses

October 15, 1994|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,Sun Staff Writer

A 34-year-old Elkridge man will face undetermined criminal charges stemming from the illegal dumping of hundreds of animal carcasses on Howard County-owned land, county police said yesterday.

The man, whose identity is being withheld until charges are formally filed next week, is a private contractor who was hired by area animal hospitals and veterinary clinics to transport the animals to a rendering plant in Baltimore.

The carcasses were dumped in shallow graves in a wooded area several hundred yards south of the 7700 block of Mayfield Ave. in Elkridge. They were discovered Oct. 7 by surveyors working nearby who noticed an odor at the site.

Howard County police and animal control officers investigated Tuesday, closely examining between 50 and 100 dead animals in one open pit. They estimated that there were similar numbers of carcasses in at least seven more covered graves.

Police believe that the private contractor first began dumping the dead animals at the site in late May or early June, said Howard County Police Cpl. Kevin Costello. The contractor was hired to dispose of animals from clinics throughout the metropolitan area.

Police have spoken with the contractor, and he is aware that he will be charged.

Police detectives will meet with the county state's attorney's office and the state attorney general's Environmental Crimes Unit Wednesday to determine what charges to file against the contractor, Corporal Costello said.

"We need to discuss what to do because this is a bit of a gray area," he said.

Among the charges being considered are littering or fraud violations. The shallow pits of animal carcasses were buried Wednesday.

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