A Johnson County, Texas, man reported missing earlier this year was eaten by his own dogs, investigators say.
The gruesome discovery was made public Wednesday morning following an investigation by Johnson County sheriff's deputies and medical examiners in Johnson and Tarrant counties.
According to deputies, 57-year-old Freddie Mack was reported missing by family members after deputies conducted a welfare check at his home May 9. A relative said Mack hadn't been seen for several weeks.
Deputies said the family member went to Mack's property, located in the 1300 block of King Cotton Road, near Venus, to check on the man but was unable to get past the 18 "aggressive" dogs that lived on the property.
Deputies attempted to search the property but were also unsuccessful due to the dogs' aggressive behavior. They were finally successful with distracting the dogs and getting onto the property but were unable to find Mack.
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Family members of Mack stated that although he had stopped contacting them in the past, Mack had recently been in consistent contact with the family for several years. He would ask for rides to the store at least twice a month.
Mack was entered into the system as a missing person the day after deputies first investigated the property.
On May 11, two days after detectives filed Mack as a missing person, family members told police that they would be unable to care for the dogs, so deputies began putting out food and water for the animals.
Family members and neighbors were interviewed, and deputies even made several trips to local hospitals and jails in an attempt to locate Mack. Those who knew Mack told deputies that it was unusual for him to leave his dogs unattended.
A few days later, detectives returned to the property to search once again and this time, they were able to recover a small piece of bone. This caught the attention of investigators and two days after that, a search warrant was executed to check the trailer and shed on Freddie’s property.
Bone fragments and other small pieces of bone were found on the property and detectives had the medical examiner’s office conduct tests on the pieces of bone.
A seizure warrant was executed for the dogs so a more detailed investigation could be conducted of Mack’s property.
Johnson County deputies and detectives, along with the help from the Tarrant and Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Offices, found more bone pieces and possible human hair scattered on the property. Strips of cloth were found in the feces of the animals and the cloth matched the description of a similar set of clothes that Mack was known to wear, according to family and neighbors.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office notified detectives on July 9, that the bone fragments found on Mack’s property were positively identified as human and a familial DNA match positively identified the remains as belonging to Mack.
According to the sheriff’s office, 13 of the 16 dogs that were seized from the property were put down due to their aggressive behavior and the evidence that led detectives to find that those dogs had eaten their owner. There were originally 18 dogs found on the property but two of those dogs were killed by the others.
"During the course of our investigation it was found that Freddie suffered from serious medical conditions so we will never know if the dogs killed Mr. Mack or consumed him after he died from a medical condition. Either way, it is a very gruesome event and we extend our sympathy to Freddie Mack’s family," said Sheriff Adam King with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.