Agencies across the state are working to track down a man accused of stealing dozens of head of livestock over the past week.
Michael Demaro was arrested in Pottawatomie County late Thursday night for the crime, but his accomplice Cody Porter is still on the run and may be heading north.
Thankfully, all 43 animals survived this ordeal. The horses returned home, and Langston University’s goats and sheep spent Thursday night at the Shawnee Expo Center after they were found.
Now, deputies are trying to find their second suspect.
After three horses, a truck and a trailer disappeared from a Guthrie home Thursday morning, the victim posted about it online. Pottawatomie County Undersheriff JT Palmer says a man recognized the truck at a gas station later that afternoon and confronted the two men with it.
The suspects took off running in opposite directions, leaving the truck and horses, which had been suffering all day in the heat.
Thursday night after calling off the search, the sheriff’s office got a tip based on photos they shared with the community.
Palmer said, “A citizen got the app and he actually saw him coming out and called the sheriff’s office, and we had deputies right there.”
Demaro was arrested and admitted to the horse theft, as well as the theft of 40 goats and sheep and a trailer from Langston University last Friday. He took deputies to those animals and yet another stolen trailer.
The sheriff’s office is grateful for the Shawnee Expo Center’s help.
“We has somewhere to take them,” said Palmer. “We has one that was in pretty bad shape. They apparently had been in this other trailer in the woods being held, probably hadn’t been fed.”
All animals are now back with their rightful owners, as the search continues for Porter, who may be heading to his hometown in Osage County.
Palmer said, “He just has violent tendencies when he’s on drugs. We don’t know if he’s armed, and he’s on the run so he’s desperate. If he wants a vehicle we don’t want somebody to get hurt.”
Investigators believe Porter stole a car Thursday night that they later recovered in Wellston, so they hope to catch up with him soon.
“He does have an active warrant, so he does need to be taken off the street,” said Palmer, “and he just got out of prison six months ago for doing the same thing.”
Demaro also has an outstanding warrant from Wagoner County, so he is being held without bond.
State agriculture investigators tell News 9 these two men go on their livestock stealing sprees to get money, and they have a lengthy criminal history in northeast Oklahoma.
If you see Porter, please call 911 right away.