A home health care worker found dead outside the Texas residence of an elderly couple she’d been assisting was killed by a pack of feral hogs, police said.
“I don’t want to go into detail, but in my 35 years, I will tell you it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen,” Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne told KHOU.
Christine Rollins was discovered dead on Sunday outside a home in Anahuac, just east of Houston, with “multiple injuries to her body,” according to a press release from the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office. The 59-year-old victim was likely on her way to work, to care for the elderly couple that lived in the residence, when she was attacked.
Rollins was found by the 84-year-old homeowner after she did not show up for her scheduled shift, police said.
Hawthorne confirmed at a Monday press conference that the woman’s cause of death was “exsanguination (severe blood loss) due to feral hog assault.”
Rollins also had a head injury that was consistent with a fall.
“My detectives and 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,” Hawthorne said, adding that feral hogs have been a problem in the area and across Texas.
Feral hogs, officially classified as an invasive species in the state, are nocturnal and were likely roaming the property when Rollins showed up for work while it was still dark. According to the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, the state has a population of 1.5 million feral hogs.
While they’re not usually dangerous, they do boast “razor sharp tusks” and can grow up to weigh a few hundred pounds. Parks officials said those traits “combined with their lighting speed can cause serious injury.”
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