RIVERTON, Ore. - A farmer's hogs ate too much of his body for a forensics expert to determine what caused the man's death, the Coos County District Attorney said.
The remains of Terry Vance Garner, 70, will undergo further examination by a forensic anthropologist at the University of Oregon in an attempt to determine what caused the man's death, District Attorney Paul Frasier said.
Garner was last seen Wednesday morning when he went to feed animals on his farm on Highway 42S.
When he didn't return home, a family member went to look for him and found Garner's dentures near the hog enclosure.
Parts of Garner's body were found in the hog pen. Frasier said investigators believe the hogs consumed the majority of Garner's body.
The Coos County Sheriff is investigating how Garner got in a position to be eaten by his pigs.
Among the theories investigators are pursuing:
- Garner suffered a health issue, like a heart attack, which put him in a position where the hogs could eat him.
- Given his age and health, one or more of the hogs knocked him to the ground, killed him and ate him. The hogs weigh 700 pounds or more, Frasier said. There are also reports that at least one of the hogs had been aggressive toward Garner in the past.
Frasier said investigators will also work to rule out if Garner was the victim of foul play.
"Due to the unusual circumstances," Frasier said, "the Sheriff's Office is investigating to determine if foul play may have resulted in the death of Mr. Garner."
The initial examination Saturday of Garner's remains left his cause of death as "undetermined."
Frasier hopes the expert from the UO can provide further insight into what led to Garner's death.