Freddie Mack, 57, disappeared back in April and Texas deputies now say that his body was eaten by his own dogs.
Mack’s family reported him missing after they hadn’t heard from him. Family and Mack’s neighbors had also noticed that his 18 dogs were running around unattended, and told police that it wasn’t like Mack to leave his pets alone.
Investigators searched Mack’s property and eventually uncovered bone, clothing, human hairs, and animal feces containing bone fragments scattered around the property. DNA evidence revealed that the remains belonged to Mack.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Freddie Mack Suffered From an Illness, Therefore It’s Unclear Whether the Dogs Killed Him
Family members told local media that the 18 dogs Freddie Mack kept on his property were “aggressive” animals. But it’s unclear if the dogs were responsible for his death.
Johnson County Sheriff Adam King told the local Cleburne Times-Review that his office learned during the investigation that Mack had been suffering from a variety of illnesses. Due to the fact that only small bone fragments remain, “we will never know if the dogs killed Mr. Mack or consumed him after he died from a medical condition. Either way, it is a very gruesome event and we extend our sympathy to Freddie Mack’s family.”
Deputy Aaron Pitts told the Associated Press that the pieces of bone left were no larger than 5 inches. “Never have we ever, or anyone we’ve spoken to, heard of an entire human being consumed. The bones were completely broken up and eaten.”
The bones found on the property were sent to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification. Scientists there determined that the bones belonged to Mack.
2. Deputies: Two of the Dogs Were Killed by the Rest of the Pack & the Majority of the Others Were Euthanized
Detectives with the Johnson County Sheriff’s department fed the dogs during the course of the missing person investigation by leaving food and water near the fence surrounding the property. CBS Dallas reported that family members had been prevented from entering Freddie Mack’s home because they couldn’t get close enough to the aggressive animals. Investigators initially even had to use a drone for initial searches of the property to avoid being bitten.
Mack had 18 dogs. But sometime between April and May, two of the dogs were killed by the rest of the pack, according to deputies. They realized that two of them were dead after May 19, when investigators decided to seize the animals and remove them from the property so that investigators could do a more thorough search for Mack. But only 16 live dogs were discovered and removed.
After it was determined that the dogs had eaten Mack, 13 of the remaining dogs were euthanized due to aggressive behavior. Three others were placed for adoption.
3. Family Members Described Freddie Mack as ‘Reclusive’
Freddie Mack largely lived an isolated life with his 18 dogs, according to family members. They told local media that Mack had reached out to family within the past few years to re-establish relationships after years of not speaking, and sometimes asked for rides to the grocery store.
The last time family members heard from Mack was on April 19. KRIV-TV reported that investigators repeatedly searched hospitals and jails for weeks in case Mack showed up there.
The Johnson County sheriff’s department listed Mack as a missing person on May 10, after searching the area with a drone and failing to find any evidence that Mack was there.
4. Freddie Mack Was Cited in 2013 For Allowing the Dogs to Run Around
Freddie Mack did not appear to have faced any legal problems related to keeping so many dogs on his property. But he was charged with a misdemeanor in 2013 for “Animals Running at Large.”
According to a search of online records, Mack pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor in Johnson County Municipal Court.
The only other charge connected to Freddie Mack appears to have been a traffic violation.
5. Freddie Mack Lived in a Trailer in Venus, Texas
Venus is a small town of about 3,000 people located about 30 miles southwest of Dallas.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department an image of Freddie Mack’s property, which included a trailer and a shed. A search of online records shows that the mobile home was 336 square feet, meaning it’s likely that the dogs slept outside or in the shed.