A woman was killed by feral hogs outside a home in rural southeast Texas on Sunday in what the local sheriff described as "one of the worst things" he'd ever seen.
The victim, 59-year-old Christine Rollins, worked as a caretaker for an elderly couple who lived on a plot of about 10 acres in Anahuac, Texas, Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne told reporters. On Sunday, she arrived around 6 a.m. as usual — while it was still dark and apparently the hogs were roaming outside the home.
Initially, authorities weren't sure if Rollins' death was caused by a medical condition, and the animals then happened upon her body. But an autopsy on Monday confirmed her cause of death as loss of blood "due to feral hog assault," Hawthorne said.
"In my 35 years, I will tell you it's one of the worst things I've ever seen," he added.
The 84-year-old homeowner discovered Rollins in the front yard after she didn't arrive at their door for work. He then called 911.
Rollins had worked for the family for almost two years, and Hawthorne offered condolences to them, as well as her family. The sheriff called her death "unbelievably tragic."
Hogs have taken over some of the pasture and woods around the home, Hawthorne added, and they're an issue throughout Chambers County.
The sheriff's office regularly assists ranchers and farmers by providing hog traps, he said, but deaths are almost unheard of. Hawthorne said in his research he had come across only six in the US over many years of reporting.
Investigators identified hogs — which can weigh hundreds of pounds — as the cause of death based on the different sizes of bite marks, he added.
"There is no question in the medical examiner's mind that this was feral hogs that caused her death," he said.—