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Dogfighting secrecy hinders Idaho triple-killing case

Dogfighting secrecy hinders Idaho triple-killing case
A emaciated, badly scarred and limping pit bull howls before being loaded for transport to Boise, Monday, April 8, 2013. Authorities have removed and shipped more than 60 pit-bulls from the scene of a triple slaying in southeast Idaho's Oneida County. (AP Photo/Idaho State Journal, Doug Lindley)
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MALAD, Idaho (AP) - Obstacles to solving a month-old triple killing in southeastern Idaho include the secretive world of illegal dogfighting, a sheriff says.

"They keep tight-lipped about it," Oneida County Sheriff Jeff Semrad told the Idaho State Journal (http://bit.ly/118hNcp ).

But he said the investigation is moving forward in solving the case involving a dogfighting ring and marijuana growing operation at an eastern Idaho residence where two men and a woman were shot and killed.

The bodies of 62-year-old Brent L. Christensen, 32-year-old Trent Jon Christensen, and 27-year-old Yavette Chivon Carter were discovered at the property outside Holbrook on April 5.

"Evidence is clear that this is not a random homicide, but that there is some type of relationship between the perpetrator and the victims, and the general public is not in immediate danger," Semrad said.

Brent Christensen is Trent Christensen's father, and Carter is Trent Christensen's girlfriend. The couple had two daughters, a 2-year-old and an infant, who were found in the home unharmed. They've been placed with family.

"They're doing all right," Semrad said.

Cash and 38 marijuana plants valued at $95,000 were in the house, and more than 60 pit bulls were at the property, some of them being boarded by Brent Christensen for other people, police have said.

The Idaho Humane Society removed the 63 dogs officials said were in in poor condition, with most being underweight and malnourished. Many had lacerations and scars, and others had skin, eye and ear ailments and broken bones that went untreated. Some of the dogs have been euthanized.

The sheriff said he would like to see Oneida County adopt a stricter ordinance regarding dogs and dog ownership.

"I'd just as soon not have this sort of thing again," Semrad said.

He said Bingham County has an ordinance that contains protections for ranchers and working dogs that would be a good guideline for Oneida County.

"Bingham County faxed me their ordinance and I passed it on to the commissioners," Semrad said.
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