Mystery of How Man Lost His Foot Lingers as Police Say He Cut It Off, While He Says He Is a Hit-and-Run Victim
“It's going to be a long road forward for him, but he has the strongest drive to live of anyone I've ever met," the cyclist's wife said.
A New Mexico man lost a limb in what he says, a hit-and-run, while police believe the incident did not occur and that the injury was self-inflicted.
Dillen Maurer, ex-professional cyclist and now owner of his own bicycle frame company, is in the hospital after an incident involving the amputation of his foot on Sept. 4, according to a GoFundMe page created by Jenn Maurer, the victim's wife.
According to the Maurers, Dillen was involved in a hit-and-run while out on a routine morning bike ride, where he lost his left foot.
“He remembers immediately before feeling like he's been ‘hit and spun around’ that he heard an ATV or other off-road vehicle behind him. But it happened so fast he didn't see who it was and no one remained at the scene,” according to the GoFundMe.
Dillen then used his knowledge of first-aid to apply a tourniquet, got himself home, called 911, and waited on his porch for emergency services to arrive, described Jenn.
While this is the story initially believed by police, after investigating, they are now saying the wound was possibly self-inflicted involving a chainsaw, Sheriff Jerry L. Hogrefe said, according to Taos News.
Deputies that were on scene noted there were two bicycles in the garage and neither had evidence of damage due to a collision and they were not able to locate collision scene, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
The sheriff also said in the release that deputies found a blood trail near the porch that went out behind the house near tall grass, where they located Dillen's foot.
Jenn spoke with Inside Edition Digital and said that despite the sheriff’s beliefs, the evidence they found still supports Dillen's story of a possible hit-and-run.
Jenn described how close their home is to the trail, so finding the foot near their home doesn’t suggest he lied.
“His full story was that he was coming back to the house and that 600-plus feet [where the foot was found] is actually on the cycling trail. The trail begins directly behind our house. That was not abnormal.”
In regards to the bicycle lacking damage, Jenn says Dillen didn’t think there would be damage, saying that whatever hit him, just hit his foot, not the bike. She also shared photos of blood splatter on his bicycle, supporting Dillen's story that he used it to help him get back home to call 911.
A chainsaw, close to where Dillen was waiting on the porch, was found to have blood, tissue, and bone samples on it, according to the sheriff.
In an update to the GoFundMe page, Jenn wrote there was a witness that saw blood on the chainsaw and Dillen also agrees that it would have blood due to its proximity to where he was sitting on the porch waiting for first responders, but Dillen believes he removed the chain days prior.
The sheriff noted in his statement that they found blood on “chainsaw bar, chain, and inside the sprocket cover,” alluding to the presence of the chain.
Medical opinion agrees that the injury is consistent with a cut but that it is still unknown whether it is consistent with a chainsaw or a vehicle, wrote Jenn. Health professionals also agreed that Dillen seems to have no past of suicidal ideation or risk of self-harm, according to the fundraising page.
“It's going to be a long road forward for him, but he has the strongest drive to live of anyone I've ever met. And Dillen doesn't just want to survive, he will thrive and overcome,” said Jenn.
While Jenn noted in her GoFundMe that Dillen’s memory may be hindered due to prior injuries, she clarified to Inside Edition Digital that when it came to the accident, Dillen’s memory was not an issue. She hopes a witness will come forward or the sheriff will investigate further.
“The memories that he's had throughout this experience are solid. It's what he told the medics immediately and nothing's changed. I don't think there's anything more we can learn from him. It would just be if a witness comes forward or if the sheriff's department actually chooses to investigate,” said Jenn.
Sheriff Hogrefe said the case will remain open but is certain on what caused the incident.
“There is no question some traumatic event took place that caused the amputation of Mr. Maurer’s foot. We are also certain that the bloody chainsaw played a major role in the amputation but without cooperation and additional information we may not get the answers we need,” said the sheriff’s office in the news release.
As of Sept. 12, Dillen has begun using crutches and is physically healing as could be expected, according to Jenn.
“He has such an honest and sweet view of the world and he just wants to move on and focus on being happy and healthy,” Jenn told Inside Edition Digital.
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