Second fatal animal attack on Jimtown Road in Cocke County reported

The Cocke County Sheriff Office has requested the assistance of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in the investigation of the second fatal animal attack on Jimtown Road in Cocke County this year.

The most recent fatal attack was reported July 12. Cocke County officials declined to release the identity of the woman killed in the attack saying they preferred to wait until the remains had been properly identified and the family notified.

Another fatal animal attack happened on Jimtown Road on April 1, resulting in the death of Tony Ahrens, 52.

“We’re just trying to make sure we get all the facts, and once we get those facts and evidence, it will be handed over to the district attorney’s office,” said Cocke County Chief Deputy CJ Ball.

The sheriff’s office put out a statement on Facebook urging caution about spreading unsubstantiated rumors.

“Considering the amount of false and misleading information of the animal attacks, we ask that the public just listen to what law enforcement releases to the public,” the statement said. “The investigation on both attacks is under a strong investigation and long hours are worked each day. The more we put out to the public could devastate the case. We will release as much as we can when feasible but we will not release anything that could jeopardize this case.”

Ball said he could not identify the type animal involved.

“Until we can get everything back from the autopsies and all the witness statements that we can gather, I’m not going to elaborate on what kind of animal (attacked),” he said.

The body of Ahrens was found around noon on April 1 near the intersection of Jimtown Road and Carnation Way. It appeared to have been partially devoured by an animal. The investigation into the death is ongoing.

The Ahrens autopsy is expected back this week.