Deer cam photos, cattle call helped prove animals were stolen
Georgetown, Texas — Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Kenny Murchison was helping a sheriff’s deputy gather estray cattle last month when he spotted an identifying mark that got him wondering.
The two cows had holes in their right ears. And while that wasn’t unheard of, it was one of the descriptors he had on a set of missing cattle from December. The deputy, Joe Worsham, mentioned he had recovered three estray cattle on this same property last week and they also had holes in their right ears.
While Murchison and Worsham were gathering the cows, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Omar Diaz, who reported he was missing a few cows. His property bordered the land where the duo had found the others. However, Worsham knew Diaz, and didn’t think he owned any cattle.
They drove to his property, where they discovered he had four additional cows, all with holes in their right ears, and a Brangus bull with a hole in his left ear. The cattle matched photos from the victim’s deer cam, and the victim was able to call them up with a unique cattle call when he came to identify them. The victim also identified a vehicle at the suspect’s house that was often at the house on his lease.
Murchison and Worsham met with the suspect and seized the cattle without incident, recovering 11 of 12 of the animals that were reported stolen in late 2019.
While there, Murchison, who had worked auto theft in his previous job, noticed several trailers on the property that looked out of place. He identified a 20-foot equipment trailer, 38-foot gooseneck trailer, a 2019 travel trailer and two ATVs — all stolen.
After meeting with the Williamson County District Attorney’s Office, warrants were issued for Diaz’s arrest. The 34-year-old from Georgetown was arrested on March 10. Diaz is out on $50,000 bond.
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association would like to thank Williamson County Sheriff’s Livestock Deputies Joe Worsham and Johnathan Kidwell, the Williamson County District Attorney’s Office and Hays County Sheriff’s Auto Theft Deputy Herman Adair for their work in this case.
And Murchison would like this case to serve as a reminder for other ranchers: all marks help, but nothing beats branding your cattle.
“A brand is the easiest and best way for us to find your cattle,” the special ranger said. “But it also makes your livestock less vulnerable to theft.”