PARK CITY — Seven dead chickens and a dead goat — most of the animals decapitated — were discovered on a sidewalk Monday in Park City.

Now, police are trying to determine if people involved in some sort of cult or religious ritual are responsible.

An anonymous tip led police to the corner of Bonanza Drive and Munchkin Road just after 2 p.m.

"The animals had been dumped on a street corner," said Park City Police Capt. Rick Ryan. "They weren't piled on top of each other. It had to take time to set them out. They were all laid out together. All but one of the chickens had their heads removed."

There was no blood at the scene, leading investigators to believe the killings happened somewhere else. None of the missing heads were found.

As of Wednesday morning, there had been no reports of missing farm animals, Ryan said.

There was no decomposition in the carcasses, leading investigators to believe the killings were relatively recent. A veterinarian was going to be used to examine the animals to try and determine how long they had been dead and what instrument was used to kill them.

Ryan said the incident seems to be more than just juvenile mischief.

"We're not looking at it as a prank," he said. "Some type of religious or satanic ritual, that's where the focus is going to be."

Ryan said he had never seen or heard of a problem with animal sacrifices from cult-like groups in the area before.

Detectives planned to check surveillance cameras from the busy intersection.

Anyone with information can call police at either 435-615-5500 or 435-615-5847.

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