Officials Investigating Possible Deadly Mountain Lion Attack
Authorities in North Texas are on the hunt to find a mountain lion they believe may have killed a man last week. 28-year-old Christopher Allen Whiteley was last seen in the early hours of Wednesday morning according to WFAA News and the Hood County Sheriff's Office launched a search for the man the next day.
Officials announced on Saturday they found Whiteley's body in the woods near Lipan, Texas. Lipan is a small city about 50 miles south-west of Fort Worth and Whiteley was last seen near that area.
According to ABC News, preliminary autopsy results indicate Whiteley died by an animal attack.
The Hood County Sheriff is advising residents in the area to keep children and animals inside at night but Texas Parks and Wildlife released a statement Sunday night saying there is no evidence that Whiteley died by a mountain lion, or any animal, according to WFAA News.
The department also said a trapper with the US Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services also looked at the evidence and believes Whiteley's death wasn't caused by a predatory attack from a mountain lion. Still, Hood County officials have ruled out homicide and suicide as possible causes for Whiteley's death. Officials say they will wait to see what the full autopsy report says.
The Hood County Sheriff's Office also said they don't believe the incident near Lipan is related to the mountain lion sighting in Rowlett, Texas. Rowlett is located in Dallas County and is about 100 miles away from the Lipan death.
You can read the entire Hood County Sheriff's Office's statement below.