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Mother, Daughter Face Charges of Animal Cruelty, Neglect, Grand Theft WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES

CITRUS COUNTY – Officials with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office held a news conference today, regarding the arrest of a mother and daughter charged with animal cruelty.

The following statement was provided to the media:


On July, 10th, deputies responded to 8424 E. Haines Ct, Floral City, for a well-being check on two women who rented the property.  The pair had one of their pets cremated and the cremation company could not get in touch with them to deliver the dog’s remains.

When deputies arrived, no one was home; however, it was obvious that there were many cats and dogs in the residence with no food or water.  In addition, a horse was found dead and decaying in a stall along with ten caged rabbits, five of which were dead and the remaining five with no food or water.

Animal control officers went to work to rescue four severely emaciated dogs, thirteen cats and a turtle from inside the home.  None of these animals had food or water.  Officers also rescued four horses, the five rabbits and eight goats from the property.  The horses and goats were surviving on rain water alone.

Deputies also discovered a stolen vehicle and a stolen horse trailer from Arkansas on the property.  A tote with a horrible smell was found near the stolen car with the remains of several liquefied dogs inside.  Later in the investigation, dead cats were found in garbage bags inside the residence.  Neighbors stated that two horses were buried on the property.

Detectives began by trying to locate the people living in the home.  This proved to be a difficult task.  Investigative information revealed several different aliases for the two women living there, a mother and a daughter, Nancy (74) and Katherine (41) Freeman.

Aliases discovered through investigation: Nancy Lee Freeman (mother), Nancy Frieman, Nancy Nygaard, Nan Speed, Nan Steed, Katherine Joanne Nygaard, Kathleen Lee, Kat Frieman, Lee Freeman, Joanne Speed, Joanne Steed, Joanne Flutterby (used on Facebook) .

Neighbors immediately said that the CCSO might find the Freemans at the Moffitt Cancer Center because Nancy had cancer.  Initially, investigators thought the animal abandonment might be a horrible tragedy due to a serious illness, but the investigation revealed much worse — the animals had been abandoned and the duo had committed this type of crime numerous times across the country in Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and Florida.

“I was contacted by someone in Woodford County, Kentucky, who had fallen prey to these two ladies,” Lora Peckham, supervisor of animal control, said.  “The woman told me she had created a private Facebook page for people who had been victimized to discuss what had happened to them and to help find the perpetrators.  There were people coming out of the woodwork who had been scammed out of thousands of dollars by the Freemans.”

“This Facebook group became an invaluable resource for me during this investigation,” Dep. Michele Tewell said.  “It helped me to really see the severity of this situation and how many people – and animals – this mother/daughter team hurt.  They actually used Nancy’s illness as a tool to scam people for over ten years.  Having had cancer myself, I was pretty motivated to put a stop to this.”

Thanks to the victim who contacted Peckham and a very dedicated investigative team, Det. Jim McIntyre and Dep. Michele Tewell, both Nancy and Katherine were apprehended in Hillsborough County on Citrus County warrants.  They face serious charges of animal cruelty and neglect and grand theft.

Interestingly, animal control officers discovered that one of the surviving horses was actually a retired thoroughbred race horse and a direct descendant of Secretariat and Seattle Slew.  None of the animals that were rescued were put to sleep and almost all have been adopted.

“What we have here is a mother/daughter team who scammed people across four states out of thousands of dollars – animals, feed, veterinarian services, supplies, vehicles and more – not to mention the animals that are dead from having been entrusted to them,” said Undersheriff Commander Buddy Grant.  “I can’t stress enough the time that went into investigating their wake of destruction and what an outstanding job was done by everyone who was involved.”

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  • Carrey, don’t get me wrong. I deal with people who live in Springhill on a daily basis, most of them are good people. It’s the few like always that make life tough

    Saturday, 12 September 2015, 4:48 pm
  • Hey you. I love Hernando county if you dont. 41 runs north and south pick a direction.

    Saturday, 12 September 2015, 3:38 pm
  • I just want to smack that smug smile right off her evil face!!

    Saturday, 12 September 2015, 7:29 am
  • BC you are a total idiot.. the hood… A SOUP KITCHEN won’t bring flocks of people here, it will help feed the less fortunate, perhaps get them OFF THE STREET. YOU HAVE FRIENDS that live here? Are you not a resident? Have nothing better to do then troll this site?
    This story is atrocious! I wish “eye for an eye” was the law of the land

    Saturday, 12 September 2015, 4:05 am
  • these people are sick ,im here twenty years an your right send them all back .im staying

    Friday, 11 September 2015, 8:33 pm
  • Thank you and agree very strongly

    Thursday, 10 September 2015, 6:58 pm
  • Tony a very small percentage of people in Florida are from here, most are like you, from up north. In Hernando County 95 % of crimes, 95 % of vehicle accidents are in Spring Hill, 95 % of the people in Spring Hill are from up north! Coincidence? I don’t think so. Do us a favor and go back

    Thursday, 10 September 2015, 6:10 pm
    • Wow very well said if i must say so my yankee self lol

      Friday, 11 September 2015, 9:22 pm
  • Really and what does Florida have to do with the idiots. They are all over, so does that mean your one also for bringing Florida into it.

    Thursday, 10 September 2015, 3:35 pm
  • Not all, not yet anyway.
    We have friends who have lived in Spring Hill since time began. Now they hear they will be having a soup kitchen within walking distance. They put their house up for sale, but be honest, who wants to buy a home that will soon be in the hood? Soon Florida will have them all.

    Thursday, 10 September 2015, 2:55 pm
  • Just goes to show that all the misfits are living here in Florida

    Thursday, 10 September 2015, 12:35 pm
    • and you live where?

      Friday, 11 September 2015, 9:23 pm
  • I shutter to think that I had Joanne sitting at my kitchen table in January and entrusted her with Red… the dog who was cremated and brought all this attention to get them caught. I had no idea who she was or what she had done! I am so pleased that they were caught and this cruelty will come to an end!

    Thursday, 10 September 2015, 11:16 am
  • I HOPE they do not find any neglected children in this mess. I feel awful knowing these animals were subjected to a long, tortuous existence…can’t really infer they ever had a life.How did these animals unwittingly end up playing a role with slobs?

    Thursday, 10 September 2015, 8:17 am
  • The old Bitch might be smiling because she thinks she’s to old to go to prison and play drop the mop. Knowing that the younger bitch will have plenty of time to learn the game. I would love to be on those 2 jurys. Save all the carcasses and that’s what Mom & Darling Daughter would be fed.
    That Karma thing is a bitch.

    Thursday, 10 September 2015, 5:55 am
  • And the witch smiles in her mugshot, as if she is proud…there are no words to express my hatred towards these disgusting people.looks like they ate all the animals food. A tooth for a tooth. May they quickly suffer worse than those animals

    Thursday, 10 September 2015, 1:43 am
  • Evil soulless bitches

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 9:55 pm
  • And the mother is grinning. ..i hope someone slaps tjat grin off her face…

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 8:55 pm
  • That lion at the zoo looked kinda hungry

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 8:38 pm
  • Nasty rotten [email protected]! Lock them up, give them no food or water and throw away the damn key! Those pics broke my heart…

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 7:03 pm
  • Cruel, lazy, evil women…

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 5:02 pm
  • Mom and daughter looked “healthy” couldn’t have shared a little…freaking pigs, I agree tie them up and let them starve in the heat! We need some old school justice.

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 5:00 pm
  • dont give them any food or water they dont need it keep them in jail

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 4:46 pm
  • Just when I think I can’t be shocked anymore, I see something like this. Those poor animals. At least some were rescued. It’s funny, when someone refers to a person as an “animal” because of their bad behavior, it’s an insult to actual animals. These women are evil.

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 3:49 pm
  • These women should be locked up outside and starved to death, looks like it would take at least a year or two.

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 3:43 pm
  • Omg when they find them i hope they just shoot them amd be done with. Sorry but thats just wrong

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 3:37 pm
  • That smile on the mom’s face is what got to me most. It’s like she knows she will skip away with nothing happening to either of them.

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 3:30 pm
  • Prison? How about saving money? An eye for an eye. Pen them up, starve them. Think of the time and money saved.

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 3:28 pm
  • Good job CCSO. Hey the a $$hats at HCSO could learn from you guys. Great job!!!!

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 3:11 pm
  • OMG…This is an outrage!!! I hope they both go to prison
    for as long as the law allows!!!

    Those pictures made me cry. 🙁 It’s sickening to see what
    those women did to those poor animals!!!

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 3:10 pm
  • Makes me sick to my stomach, these people aren’t sickos, they are very evil,hope they never see the light of day again. Hope they get no bail

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 3:09 pm
  • I decline to make a comment as i am sure it would not conform to any of the rules here. My the adopted animals have a new comfortable life.

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 2:53 pm

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