Texas man killed by ‘mountain lion’ was found dead in a creek near his home

A Texas father-of-three who authorities believe was killed by a mountain lion was found dead in a creek bed near his home with wounds to his neck.

Police found Christopher Allen Whiteley’s body near his home in Lipan, about an hour south-west of Fort Worth, last Thursday soon after he was reported missing. 

The preliminary findings from the 28-year-old’s autopsy indicate Whiteley died from a wild animal attack, possibly by a mountain lion, according to authorities.

His girlfriend Tylor Messina, who is the mother of his children, told DailyMail.com that she is struggling to come to terms with his shock death.

‘They found him very close to the house in the creek bed in the brush,’ she said. 

Police found 28-year-old Christopher Allen Whiteley's body near his home in Lipan, about an hour south-west of Fort Worth, last Thursday soon after he was reported missing

Police found 28-year-old Christopher Allen Whiteley's body near his home in Lipan, about an hour south-west of Fort Worth, last Thursday soon after he was reported missing

Police found 28-year-old Christopher Allen Whiteley’s body near his home in Lipan, about an hour south-west of Fort Worth, last Thursday soon after he was reported missing

Messina said police have only told the family that a wild animal may have ‘got him by the throat’. 

Authorities located his body after Messina reported him missing on Thursday.

She said the last time she saw him was on Tuesday night before going to bed when they had a small fight. 

‘He had to go to work Wednesday morning and he had left without giving me a kiss,’ Messina said.

She said he wasn’t answering her calls or text messages on Wednesday and then failed to return home. 

Messina said she started calling around asking if anyone had seen him. 

‘I called hospitals and jails. No one had seen him,’ she said. 

Messina said she started fearing the worst when she remembered Whiteley had been complaining of chest pains in recent weeks and thought he had collapsed somewhere on his way to work. 

After altering authorities, Whiteley’s body was discovered in a wooded area not far from his home. 

His girlfriend Tylor Messina, who is the mother of his children, told DailyMail.com that she is struggling to come to terms with his shock death

His girlfriend Tylor Messina, who is the mother of his children, told DailyMail.com that she is struggling to come to terms with his shock death

His girlfriend Tylor Messina, who is the mother of his children, told DailyMail.com that she is struggling to come to terms with his shock death

Messina said she started fearing the worst when she remembered Whiteley had been complaining of chest pains in recent weeks and thought he had collapsed somewhere on his way to work

Messina said she started fearing the worst when she remembered Whiteley had been complaining of chest pains in recent weeks and thought he had collapsed somewhere on his way to work

Messina described Whiteley as a 'sweet and caring person'

Messina described Whiteley as a 'sweet and caring person'

Messina said she started fearing the worst when she remembered Whiteley had been complaining of chest pains in recent weeks and thought he had collapsed somewhere on his way to work

‘How can you go from talking to somebody and then not being there anymore,’ Messina said.  ‘It’s not easy sleeping or eating.’ 

Messina described Whiteley as a ‘sweet and caring person’. 

‘He was hardworking, he was loving and caring. Family was definitely a top priority for him over everything,’ she said.  

‘A day never went by when he didn’t tell me how much he loved me and how much I meant to him.’ 

The Hood County Sheriff’s Office said they were still investigating Whiteley’s death and were speaking to pictures and statements from locals who have witnesses mountain lions in the area of late. 

They are waiting for the final autopsy result from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office, which has ruled out suicide or homicide. 

The sheriff’s office said the autopsy’s preliminary findings said Whiteley died from a possible mountain lion attack. 

The preliminary findings from the 28-year-old's autopsy indicate Whiteley died from a wild animal attack, possibly by a mountain lion, according to authorities. He was found in a wooded area near him home

The preliminary findings from the 28-year-old's autopsy indicate Whiteley died from a wild animal attack, possibly by a mountain lion, according to authorities. He was found in a wooded area near him home

The preliminary findings from the 28-year-old’s autopsy indicate Whiteley died from a wild animal attack, possibly by a mountain lion, according to authorities. He was found in a wooded area near him home

The Hood County Sheriff's Office said they were still investigating Whiteley's death and were speaking to pictures and statements from locals who have witnesses mountain lions in the area of late (file photo)

The Hood County Sheriff's Office said they were still investigating Whiteley's death and were speaking to pictures and statements from locals who have witnesses mountain lions in the area of late (file photo)

The Hood County Sheriff’s Office said they were still investigating Whiteley’s death and were speaking to pictures and statements from locals who have witnesses mountain lions in the area of late (file photo)

The sheriff’s office had said deputies found Whiteley’s body on Thursday – the day after he went missing near Lipan. 

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department cast doubt on the autopsy findings on Sunday afternoon, saying its experts had inspected the scene and didn’t find any evidence of a mountain lion attack at the location. 

‘None of the evidence reviewed by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department indicates a predatory attack by a mountain lion or other wild animal,’ a spokeswoman said. 

TPWD said that a Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services biologist also came to the same conclusion as its staff. 

The sheriff’s office later said it was standing by the preliminary report for the medical examiner’s officer. 

TPWD said fatal mountain attacks on people are extremely rare, and that over the past 100 years, there have been fewer than 30 people killed by mountain lions across the US. 

TPWD said it has no records of a confirmed fatal attack on a person by a mountain lion in Texas and no confirmed records of a mountain lion from Hood County.

Though confirmed mountain lion sightings are rare in North Texas, TPWD on Tuesday said its biologists had verified a sighting on private property in the suburban Dallas city of Rowlett, which is more than 100 miles from where Whiteley was killed.

The state wildlife officials said Sunday that the confirmed sighting in Rowlett is considered unrelated to Whiteley’s death.  

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