Oregon farmer eaten by own pigs
The farmer did not return after leaving his house last week to feed the hogs, and at least one had reportedly bitten him in the past.
Tue, Oct 02, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Detectives are investigating various theories of how he died, including that he suffered a heart attack some other medical emergency, which put him in a position where the hogs could consume him. (Photo: Scott Olson/AFP)
Oregon authorities are investigating how a farmer came to be eaten by his own pigs, after some of the man's remains were found at the hog enclosure where he had gone to feed them.
Terry Vance Garner, 70, did not return after leaving his house last week to feed the hogs, some of which weigh 700 pounds or more, and at least one of which had reportedly bitten the farmer in the past.
"Mr Garner was not observed for several hours. When a family member went to look for him, when he arrived at the hog enclosure, he found the dentures of Mr Garner on the ground," said a statement by the local prosecutor's office.
"Further searching of the enclosure revealed that Mr Garner's body was in several pieces, with a great majority of the body having been consumed by the hogs," added the statement by Paul Frasier, district attorney for Coos County.
Detectives were investigating various theories of how he died, including that he suffered a heart attack some other medical emergency, which put him in a position where the hogs could consume him.
"Another scenario ... is that given the age and health of Mr Garner, that one or more of the hogs knocked Mr Garner to the ground, whereupon hogs killed and consumed him."
The DA said there were reports "that at least one of the hogs in the past had bitten or was otherwise aggressive towards Mr Garner.
"What little that was left of Mr Garner's body was examined by a forensic pathologist on Saturday. The pathologist was not able to identify, from what remained, the cause and manner of death."
Sheriff's officers and the district attorney are continuing their investigation, but for the moment the cause of death is listed as "undetermined."
Foul play has not been ruled out.
"Due to the unusual circumstances presented by this case, the sheriffs office is investigating to determine if foul play may have resulted in the death of Mr Garner," said the prosecutor.
"For all we know, it was a horrific accident, but it's so doggone weird that we have to look at all possibilities," Frasier told the local Register Guard newspaper.
Copyright 2012 AFP American Edition