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Two men and woman were arrested after three horses were found dead and a fourth near starvation on a southwestern Utah ranch.

The three — males ages 34 and 69, and a 43-year-old woman — were booked into the Washington County jail Sunday afternoon on suspicion of multiple third-degree felony counts of aggravated negligent animal cruelty and misdemeanor improper disposal of a dead animal.

As of Tuesday, the woman had been released pending court proceedings but the men remained in custody in lieu of $16,000 bond each, jail records showed.

The trio reportedly were arrested by Washington County sheriff's deputies investigating a Feb. 12 report of a dead horse on the ranch, located near New Harmony. Initially, the suspects were told to dispose of the carcass and deputies left.

When deputies returned to not only find the carcass still unburied, further investigation unearthed two more recently buried horses. A fourth horse, near death, also was found.

The surviving animal was taken to the Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary for Horses in Cedar City, and the suspects arrested.

Twitter: @remims