STEPHENVILLE -- An intense investigation is underway in Erath County, where a man was reportedly found tied to a tree and savagely attacked.

An offense report said 43-year-old Ricky Stephens was found in a pasture off a private country road with cuts and severe head injuries on Sunday. His sister, Ronieva Davis, said she was told he was also burned.

Stephens was found by a man who was checking hog traps in the area.

Sheriff Tommy Bryant said he does not want to release too much information before he can interview persons of interest in the case.

The victim's sister said Ricky Stephens is in a medically-induced coma after being transported by helicopter ambulance. Ronieva Davis said her brother has two grown children and two teenagers.

"This is cruel and mean," she said. "He is someone's father, son and brother."

Ricky Stephens lives in Stephenville, where he does odd jobs.


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