ANAHUAC, Texas -- Authorities confirm an attack by wild hogs caused the death of a woman whose body was found in the front yard of a Texas home Sunday.
Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said in a press conference Monday afternoon the Jefferson County medical examiner's office formally ruled the cause of death as "exsanguination due to feral hog assault."
"We had suspected that," said Hawthorne. "My detectives and the 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."
The Chambers County Sheriff's Office said the body was discovered in the 400 block of State Hwy 61.
The woman was identified as 59-year-old Christine Rollins of Liberty.
Authorities say Rollins was the caretaker of an elderly couple who lives in the home where her body was discovered.
When she didn't show up at the normal time, the 84-year-old homeowner went outside and found Rollins laying between her vehicle and the home's front door.
When deputies arrived, they found Rollins deceased with multiple injuries to her body.
Hawthorne called it one of the most horrific scenes he's ever seen. Neighbors told ABC13 they have complained recently about wild hogs in the area.
"As soon as I seen the news report on that, my heart goes out to the family. A loss like that, no one needs to have to go through," said "Cajun Bob" Thornberry, of Sweeny. He's been trapping and hunting wild hogs for 40 years and has used trees to make escapes from charging hogs.
"If you walk up on a bunch of these hogs, don't try to run because they can outrun you. Try to get close to a tree and if you can't get close to a tree, at least carry a gun with you," he advised. Like any wild animal, feral hogs attack when they feel threatened, Thornberry said.
Deadly hog attacks are extremely rare. A quick online search shows only 4 reported in United States history before Rollins.
The sheriff says hogs in that rural part of Chambers County are becoming a bigger problem, and there are signs hogs were on the property where Rollins died.
"We've got individuals that hunt hogs with dogs. They put Kevlar on these dogs for a purpose because those hogs are vicious. And when they feel threatened, they're coming after you," said neighbor David Bennett.
No one reported hearing the incident.
The 84-year-old homeowner and his 79-year-old wife have severe dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Both require around-the-clock care.
Rollins was one of their three caretakers and had worked for them for a year and a half.
According to family members, Rollins was a huge fan of the San Francisco 49ers and the Houston Rockets, and dedicated her life to helping people. They also described her as a hard worker.
She leaves behind one adult daughter and two adult grandchildren.
Rollins would have turned 60 years old on Christmas Day.