When this photo was taken, Gerry Warren White was known as Anthony J. Ferrer.
By SYLVIA LOBATO
COSTILLA COUNTY — What started as a report of allegedly abandoned animals in January is now a full-scale missing person investigation.
The recovery of 57 allegedly abandoned horses near Jaroso, just inside the Colorado-New Mexico state line, rapidly grew into concern about their owner.
Property owner Gerry Warren White also known as "Brother Anthony," has been missing since January, and a nephew’s remarks have deepened concern for his well-being.
Costilla County Patrol Sgt. Ricky Rodriguez said the sheriff's department had conducted several welfare checks on White’s property, but the circumstances of his disappearance are mysterious.
Apparently, White was not close to any family members except for a nephew, who shared critical information with the Costilla County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO).
“At first, the nephew wasn’t severely concerned, since (White) would fall off the grid from time to time, but never for this long,” authorities said,
The nephew had apparently maintained regular contact with White, even sending him money from time to time, but had no idea where he could have gone, or why he left his home and animals as he did.
Not only were the horses in need of help, but White's dogs were locked in his vehicle and windows were broken to get them out.
White reportedly had a number of aliases, but never a state ID or driver’s license from anywhere he had been.
White is believed to have been from northwestern Oklahoma, but there is little identifying information available from there.
Rodriguez said the entire situation is out of character for White, since he was known to love his animals and would never leave them alone and in need of care.
He also left everything behind in his residence, sheriff's reports indicate.
The horses were seized after three days of teamwork by several agencies.
The question, now, is their owner’s whereabouts.
Since their removal, the horses have been in the care of ASPCA and several have borne colts, so the issue has grown.
“It concerns us that Mr. White has abandoned his property and horses and hasn’t been seen for more than two months,” Undersheriff Andrew Espinoza said in January.
“Anyone with any knowledge of his whereabouts should contact the sheriff’s office, or to report anonymously, call Crime Stoppers.”
Information can be provided anonymously and may be reported to the CCSO at 672-0673 or (719) 672-3302, San Luis Valley Crime Stoppers (719) 589-4111 or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-STOP (7867).
Crime Stoppers offers a reward of up to $2,000 for any information in relation to this case.
Espinoza said his department received assistance from the Conejos County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado Humane Society and SPCA, Colorado Brand Board, New Mexico Livestock Board, Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, Dumb Friends League and Alpine Veterinary Clinic, according to the press release.
“In cases like this, if it were not for our partnerships, we would not have the resources and facilities to help these horses,” Espinoza said.
The horses were taken to a rehabilitation facility and each received an evaluation by a veterinarian to determine the necessary care and/or treatment, Espinoza said.
Some of the horses in White’s herd have been identified as possible strays, and the CCSO encourages horse owners suspecting their animals integrated into the herd to contact the Colorado Humane Society at (800) 249-5121.
For the complete article see the 08-28-2014 issue.