Investigation continues into death of farmer eaten by hogs

COQUILLE, Ore. - The investigation is continuing into how an Oregon farmer came to be eaten by his own hogs last October.

The remains of Terry Vance Garner, 70, were found on his farm near the unincorporated town of Riverton between Bandon and Coquille. According to Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier, Garner's hogs ate too much of his body for a forensics expert to determine what caused his death at the scene of the accident.

His remains were then sent for further examination to a forensic anthropologist at the University of Oregon in an attempt to determine a cause.

Frasier said in October investigators will also work to rule out if Garner was the victim of foul play, and on Dec. 31, Frasier told KCBY that the investigation had not yet been completed.

"Due to the unusual circumstances," Frasier said in October, "the Sheriff's Office is investigating to determine if foul play may have resulted in the death of Mr. Garner."

Frasier hopes the University of Oregon expert can provide further insight into what led to Garner's death.

Right now the cause of death is listed as "undetermined."

It's possible Garner had a medical emergency, such as a heart attack, or was knocked over by the animals, then killed and eaten, Frasier said, adding that at least one hog had previously bitten Garner. Some of the hogs weighed up to 700 pounds.

The possibility of foul play is being investigated as well.

"For all we know, it was a horrific accident, but it's so doggone weird that we have to look at all possibilities," Frasier told The Register-Guard in October.

Terry Garner was "a good-hearted guy" who cared for several huge adult sows and a boar named Teddy, said his brother, Michael Garner, 75, of Myrtle Point.

Piglets were typically sold to local 4-H kids.

"Those animals were his life," Michael Garner said. "He had all kinds of birds, and turkeys that ran all over the place. Everybody knew him."