Nearly 60 cattle near Offerle were found dead due to starvation, Edwards County officials confirmed Thursday.

Edwards County Sheriff Bryant Kurth said the cattle were found around March 31.

County Attorney Mark Frame said the cattle were found at a personal feedlot owned by Offerle rancher David Oliphant, who had been hospitalized with an unknown illness.

Water was present, Frame said, but there was no sign of hay or feed in the pens.

Some of the cow/calf pairs found had to be euthanized, he said. The others were found dead.

All were buried at a Kansas Department of Health and Environment-approved location on site.

Another 50 to 60 head are being cared for by local farmers.

Frame called it a bad situation, adding that local producers have said if they had only known, they would have helped out.

Frame said he couldn’t comment on any possible pending criminal charges. The case is still under investigation.

More information could be released in a few weeks, he said.

Oliphant, who is in his early 50s, is a lifelong resident of the county.

He owned Oliphant Angus, according to websites.

Oliphant is a past Kansas Angus Association board of directors member, according to several farm publications.