LaPorte County authorities are investigating the deaths of farm animals including five piglets discovered in a pile of compost still with their umbilical cords attached.
LaPorte County Animal Control director Jane Bernard said Monday she's not sure yet if the case will result in criminal charges.
"It's still under investigation," said Bernard.
According to LaPorte County police, Deputy Neil Lachmund was called April 20 to the area of LaPorte County Road 900 West and County Road 400 North near Michigan City where two large black pot bellied pigs had gotten loose.
He and a good Samaritan chased down the pigs and went to a small farm nearby to return the animals.
In his report, Lachmund said there were makeshift pens containing two goats along with a cage that had a rabbit inside along with chickens in a coop.
All of those animals were alive but they did not have access to food or water, police said.
Lachmund heard what sounded like pigs and followed the sounds to a garage and inside were two more small pigs again with no food or water inside.
In a nearby composting pile, the officer saw what appeared to be fur and uncovered a rabbit, several chickens and the baby pigs all deceased in the compost.
Lachmund said the umbilical cords were still attached to the piglets.
The owner told investigators the pigs were stillborn, said Bernard.
The animals still alive were allowed to stay.
"They were not kept to the point where we needed to remove the animals that day," she said.
Bernard said the two pigs recovered had wandered away the previous week and both times got out through a poorly kept wire fence.