Reportedly there has been multiple problems on the horse farms owned by Lawrence “Bud” Wietholder, 61. Reportedly multiple charges have been filed beginning in 2003, ranging from animal abuse to unlawful disposal of a dead animal, there were convictions on the unlawful disposal of a dead animal charges. There has been some jail time, fines, and horses removed from Wietholder’s properties in three states.
Friday sheriff’s deputies received a call requesting a welfare check on Wietholder’s wife, JoAnn Wietholder, 64. While they are not releasing the name of the person who called, they say they were told she drowned.
The body of JoAnn Wietholder was found deceased and Lawrence Wietholder was taken into custody. It was thought she drowned in a pond on the property, though the autopsy results has not been completed as of the time of the articles. On Sat. Wietholder was charged with 2 nd degree murder and is being held on $5 million dollar bond.
Family has made statements that they believe the pressure from the animal protection societies may have led up to the murder. “I guess we’re here today trying to clean up a mess that a couple of organizations more or less created. If they were held as accountable as what they want to try to hold two people, I wish they’d clean up their own mess. They’ve created monsters out of people and don’t realize what today is. Apparently now livestock has more precedence than human life and family.” Wietholder is currently being held under suicide watch.
There is no indication given as to whether or not there had been any previous complaints of domestic violence with the couple. But studies do show a link between animal abuse and domestic violence.
The sheriff’s dept. has said they recieved a call on Friday from a man who said that Wietholder had told him that he drowned his wife in a pond. An autopsy was completed on Sunday and showed that Mrs. Wietholder died on Sunday.
Autopsy reports confirm that the cause of death is drowning. The sheriff said in a statement that he arrived at the property about 7:30 pm and found Mrs. Wietholder in a barn on the property, covered with a tarp. Reportedly her clothing was wet and there were drag marks that led to the pond. Reportedly Wietholder told deputies that he and his wife had ‘gone crazy’ and that he had drowned her in the pond.