A Texas woman who was found dead in the front yard of the home where she cares for an elderly couple was killed by feral hogs, the Chambers County Sheriff's Department said.
Police were initially puzzled when they found the body of Christine Marie Rollins, 59, in the front yard of the home in Anahuac, Texas, on Sunday with "an injury to her head that is consistent with a fall," as well as "numerous injuries that appear to be animal-related," the sheriff's department wrote on Facebook.
Rollins cares for a couple with Alzheimer's disease at the home, the sheriff's department said, and when she didn't arrive on time for work, the 84-year-old homeowner walked outside and found her body.
"It had a lot of things that were related to the death that did not add up," Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said in a press conference Tuesday. "Some of it were some animal bites."
An autopsy by the Jefferson County Medical Examiner's Office revealed that Rollins had been killed by feral hogs, Hawthorne said.
"[The forensic pathologist] has ruled the cause of death as exsanguination due to feral hog assault," Hawthorne said. "We had suspected that. My detectives and the criminal investigation team felt like that's what it was, but it was not something that we could even come close to announcing until we had the cause of death from the medical examiner's office."
Rollins, who would have turned 60 on Christmas Day, leaves behind a daughter and two grandchildren.
Hawthorne called her death "very tragic" and said that feral hogs are becoming more of a problem in the area.
"We've got individuals that hunt hogs with dogs," David Bennett, a neighbor, told KTRK. "They put Kevlar on these dogs for a purpose. Because those hogs are vicious. And when they feel threatened, they're coming after you."