Autopsy of Newport man killed in Cocke County animal attack released

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NEWPORT, Tenn. (WATE) — Tony Ahrens died from multiple animal-induced injuries, according to an autopsy report from the Knox County Regional Forensic Center. The report was released by the Cocke County Government on Tuesday.

The autopsy could not determine whether this attack was from multiple animals nor what type of animal did it. No other types of injuries were determined from the autopsy.

Police say Ahrens, 52, was found unresponsive in his neighbor’s yard by the homeowner near Jimtown Road on April 1. First responders took him to Newport Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. An investigation revealed scattered clothing, paw marks, and blood on the ground consistent with an animal attack.

The toxicology report states that amphetamine and methamphetamine were found in Ahrens’ bloodstream. Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes previously stated that the use of methamphetamine was believed to be a contributing factor in the case.

Another animal attack in the same area of Jimtown Road claimed the life of 29-year-old Amber Miller on July 12. The investigation into the deaths led the Sheriff’s Department SWAT team to a home where a man was arrested and DNA from two dogs was taken.

Charles Owenby, 51, was arrested at the scene for marijuana possession and an aggressive dog was taken into custody. DNA was also taken from two living dogs. While searching the property a shallow grave containing a deceased dog was found and DNA was also collected from the animal.

So far no charges have been brought against anyone for the deaths of Ahrens or Miller.

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