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Medical examiner says wild animal killed Lipan man; Hood County sheriff closes investigation

The Sheriff’s office said that they support the ruling since there were no signs of foul play in Whiteley’s death.

The Hood County Sheriff’s Office says that they have closed the death investigation of a Lipan man who was attacked by an animal in early December, the office said Tuesday.

At the time, the office said Christopher Allen Whiteley, 28, died on Dec. 3 of a mountain lion attack, while the Texas Parks and Wildlife disputed that it was a mountain lion.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the cause of death as an accident due to "injuries of the neck due to animal attack," the sheriff's office said in a news release.

The Sheriff’s office said that they support the ruling since there were no signs of foul play in Whiteley’s death. They are closing the case.

"There is still a disagreement with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department whether Whiteley was killed by a mountain lion or not," the news release said.

Texas Parks and Wildlife said in December that "none of the evidence reviewed by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department indicates an attack by a mountain lion or other wild animal." 

RELATED: Hood County Sheriff's Office says Lipan man killed by mountain lion; Texas Parks and Wildlife says 'no evidence' of attack

On Dec. 3, deputies were called to the 15000 block of Howell Road after Whiteley was reported missing and found his body in a nearby wooded area. 

The sheriff’s office then contacted a governmental trapper with the USDA, along with Texas Game Wardens to help locate the mountain lion. 

"There is not any evidence of a predatory attack by a mountain lion at the location where the victim was found. A Unites States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services trapper also evaluated the evidence and came to the same conclusion as our staff," Texas Parks and Wildlife said in a written statement in December. 

Later the department clarified that none of the evidence indicated an attack by an animal at all.

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