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Cass County cockfighting

Officials broke up a cockfighting ring in Cass County on Nov. 24.

The 67-year-old whose farmstead hosted a cockfighting ring last month was found dead Tuesday near his Louisville-area home, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office said.

Marvin A. Vogler was last seen Sunday night by family members, and deputies started searching his land and buildings Monday. They returned Tuesday and, with the help of the county emergency management agency and its drone, found his body in a field south of his home.

Vogler was considered a person of interest in the cockfighting investigation, the sheriff's office said Tuesday. An autopsy will determine the cause and manner of his death.

Acting on an anonymous tip, deputies and state troopers raided a cockfight on the Vogler property Nov. 24, managing to arrest 32 people while many fled into the nearby fields.

Inside the barn, about five miles south of Louisville on Nebraska 50, investigators found a fighting ring, 11 dead roosters, blades and syringes.

Vogler and his mother, who owns the farm, initially told deputies they didn’t know why so many cars had been parked outside their barn.

Vogler also told investigators a man named Walter cared for the chickens and visited the property five to seven times a week, though he didn’t know the man’s last name or phone number, according to court records.

Investigators seized more than 180 live birds — most of them roosters, some of them in small boxes. Many of the birds had fresh wounds, and seven were ultimately euthanized because of their injuries, according to court documents.

The surviving birds were taken to the Nebraska Humane Society in Omaha.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7254 or psalter@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSPeterSalter.

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