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Police look for answers in mystery meat left on Epping roadsides

Union Leader Correspondent

March 28. 2016 11:31PM
A package of raw meat sits on the side of Red Oak Hill in Epping on Monday morning. It was one of several pieces scattered along the roadside. (Jason Schreiber)

EPPING — Investigators are working their fingers to the bone to crack the case of the mystery meat found alongside several roads last weekend.

The rare discovery of chicken, drumsticks, sausage, Angus steaks, pork chops and wild game meats, including venison, was made by residents who notified police Sunday.

Police Capt. Jason Newman said an estimated 30 to 40 packages of meat were discarded on Red Oak Hill, Rocky Lane, Old Nottingham Road and Route 87.

Much of the meat was still partially frozen.

“This is not your average investigation,” Newman said.

It appears packages of meat were thrown out of a moving vehicle about every 200 feet.

Red Oak Hill resident Jude David picked up a whole frozen chicken tossed out near her house and disposed of it.

“I was horrified by the amount of meat that was just discarded all over the place. We’re not talking a small package. There was a lot of product,” she said.

While most of the meat was still in its package, Newman said the labels were ripped off, which made it difficult to identify the source.

However, police got lucky with one piece of meat.

“We found a package where they forgot to pull the label off and because of that we have some leads,” Newman said.

The label indicated that the meat came from a local store, but Newman declined to identify the market as police continue their probe.

At this point, police haven’t pinpointed a motive for the strange meat display.

“We’re still investigating what the motive would be in doing this,” Newman said.

Investigators don’t believe the meat was thrown out to attract wildlife, he said. They’re also not sure if the meat’s sell-by dates were expired, but Newman said he doesn’t believe that played a role in the meat-dumping.

If the person responsible is found, police plan to pursue misdemeanor illegal dumping charges.

“This is an unusual circumstance, but we’re certainly going to investigate it so we can prevent it from happening in the future,” Newman said.

Highway Supervisor Dave Reinhold said workers cleaned up the meat Monday and threw it in the garbage.

David, who has two dogs, said she was worried about her animals and others eating the meat if they got loose.

“Is it poisoned? I don’t know,” she said.

She and other residents have also expressed concerns about the meat attracting coyotes and wild animals.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Epping Police Department at 679-5122.

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