The autopsy report was released Wednesday on an Oklahoma man whose body was found on a popular hiking trail in Tucson, partially eaten by wild animals, but the cause of death was redacted.
Steve Mark Brashear, 66, reportedly left Bartlesville, Oklahoma on Dec. 7, likely arrived in Tucson the next day and was not seen again, according to his family. His remains were found Dec. 30 along the Pima Canyon Trail.
A toxicology report showed opioids in Brashear’s system. And his remains showed “significant postmortem animal activity” and “evidence of carnivore damage and exposure to the environmental conditions,” said the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner’s report.
Daylan Jacob Thornton was arrested in Tucson in early January on suspicion of stealing Brashear’s SUV. No additional charges have been filed in the case, according to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. Thornton is currently out on bond, said Deputy Marissa Hernandez.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department determined the animals disturbing the body included mountain lions, which are commonly found in the area.
An adult female and two young adult males — between 1 to 2 years old — were shot and killed. Game and Fish cited the disturbance of the remains, concluding the mountain lions’ behavior was unusual and that they were a danger to the public.
Necropsies on the lions found at least a portion of Brashear’s thumb in one male lion’s stomach contents and bony fragments in the female’s stomach, though officials were unable to conclude if they were human due to fragmentation and deformation, the report said.
Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or email@example.com
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