Oregon authorities probe death of farmer consumed by hogs

PORTLAND, Ore. Tue Oct 2, 2012 1:39pm EDT

PORTLAND, Ore. Oct 2 (Reuters) - Oregon authorities were investigating the death of a farmer whose body was eaten by hogs last week, leaving behind little more than his false teeth, the Coos County District Attorney said on Tuesday.

Terry Vance Garner, 70, went to feed his hogs last Wednesday morning near Riverton, about 140 miles (225 km) southwest of Eugene, the district attorney said in a statement.

When a relative went to check on Garner a few hours later in the pigs' pen, he found only dentures and pieces of the man's body. The body had apparently been largely devoured by the animals, some of which weigh 700 pounds (318 kg) or more.

"The Sheriff's Office is investigating how Mr. Garner ended up in a position where the hogs were able to consume him," the district attorney's statement said. Garner's death was under investigation by the Coos County Sheriff's office, which listed possibilities for his demise as a heart attack, being knocked down by the hogs or foul play.

Although a forensic pathologist examined the remains over the weekend, the pathologist was not able to determine a cause or manner of death. The remains will be sent to a forensic anthropologist at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

The Coos County district attorney was not immediately available to comment beyond the written statement. (Writing by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Cynthia Osterman)

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