EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) – Investigators say two men were hiding their faces and speeding down a rural road, leaving a trail of blood behind.
When deputies caught up to the car, they found the carcass of a poached deer and a very messy crime scene.
In rural El Dorado County, where neighbors such as Nicole Carlson protect the deer, deputies say a pair of poachers shot one with a shotgun and threw it in their Toyota.
“I can’t imagine anybody doing this, I really can’t, especially in our area because you know what, we feed the deer,” she said.
“People do some awfully dumb stuff and that doesn’t sound real smart to me,” neighbor Bruce Meredith said.
Scott Lee and Nai Saechao allegedly hid their faces as they sped off near Shingle Springs. Maybe the suspects thought the wounded male deer was dead. Soon enough, they found out he wasn’t.
That’s where things got really gruesome. Deputies say the deer regained consciousness in the SUV and that’s when they say the suspects took out a machete, stabbing the deer over and over until it was dead.
“Oh no, how terrible!” Carlson said. “That’s awful.”
Witnesses called 911 after seeing what they described as a “large amount” of blood dripping from the back of the SUV.
When deputies pulled Saechao and Lee over on Highway 50, they discovered the deer carcass and a disgusting mess: the suspects and the SUV’s interior were covered in blood.
Reached at his home Tuesday, Seng Saechao said he believes his brother wasn’t just killing for sport.
“If he killed the deer, obviously he was probably going to eat it,” he said. “He wasn’t killing it just for doing it.”
“Are you disappointed with him?” CBS13’s Nick Janes asked.
“Of course, of course,” Seng said. “He’s done something really wrong. What am I going to say?”
Saechao and Lee were charged with poaching because it isn’t hunting season and felony animal cruelty because of the way investigators say they killed the deer in the SUV.