Ken Davison's letter to the editor
of the American Family Voice newspaper
August 01, 2003
I assume that most people reading this will have heard about the death of my wife's sister on May 03, 2003.
Why do we care what killed Leigh Ann Cox? Because that cougar is still on the loose and we have to live in fear of it, for ourselves and our neighbors, until it is killed. Until we can get the Fish & Game to admit that it was a cougar they won't try to trap it and put it down. Having the cougar put down has been the only thing that we have ask for during the whole ordeal, Is that really too much to ask?
What is the basis for the "official" dog attack theory?
THAT IS IT!
- Leigh Ann Cox was killed by something on May 03,03.
- We had five dogs.
- I shot two of my own dogs.
- The statement by Jay Hagans of Ark. Fish and Game to Sheriff Scott Bradley that there are no big cats in the area. (Click here for Scott Bradley's own words in the May 08 '03 Arkansas Democrat Gazette).
- The preliminary report from the State Medical Examiner's office that " because we lack experience in determining cougar attack, we are, at this time, saying that it was "accidental dog attack.".
There is no real evidence to back up the dog attack theory. To keep this farce up, a great deal of evidence at the scene had to be ignored. I shot two of our dogs by mistake. I was in a state of shock from finding my sister in law's body, and I jumped to the wrong conclusion that it must have been our dogs, believing that there was nothing else out here that could have done it. The very fact that I shot two dogs in the bedroom of our house should show something about my mental state. I was hunting the other three dogs, when George Morton, a neighbor and first responder showed up.
He examined the body and told me to stop shooting dogs, because in his opinion, dogs COULD NOT have caused the wounds. George got me to take another look at the body and to examine all of my dogs for any sign that they had been involved. When I moved Leigh Ann's head it felt like her neck had been broken There was a lot of bruising and swelling around her neck and upper shoulders. Cougars kill by breaking the neck of their victim.
Dogs do not.
There were deep claw wounds in her shoulders and back. Cougars use their claws to hold and slash their victim. Anyone who has seen a dog fight knows that dogs do not use their claws as weapons.
Leigh Ann had been completely scalped and the scalp was found intact near the body, partly covered with leaves and small sticks. Cougars often grab the head of their victim with their mouth, then jerk the head back to snap the neck. This would explain both the broken neck and the scalping. Fang marks could be clearly seen on Leigh Ann's skull.
Despite the terrible wounds, there was no blood at the scene. Cougars kill so quickly by breaking the neck, thus stopping the heart, that there is very seldom any blood. Dogs (coyotes, wolves) kill by causing their prey to bleed to death.
Jay Hagans of Fish and Game made the statement that no bear or cougar tracks were found at the scene. Jay Hagans did not even look for tracks. Cougar tracks were found near where the body had been as soon as the "investigators" left. There were 5 witnesses to those tracks. Photos were taken, and plaster castings made. These tracks were confirmed to be those of a "Felis Concolor", or cougar, by the Memphis Zoo Assistant Curator in Tennessee.
On Monday, May 05 '03, photos of the cougar tracks were hand delivered to the Van Buren County Sheriff. The sheriff ignored this evidence. The sheriff did not contact the 5 people who witnessed the finding of the cougar tracks to take their statements. Later on the same day a neighbor sighted a large cougar leaving our property. Two calls were made to 911 asking for Fish and Game to send somebody out. They did not come out, or return our calls, that day, or the next. The sheriff ignored this sighting as evidence also. Dispite written request to Jay Hagans and his supervizer for a depredation permit, they refused to issue us a permit to kill the cougar. It the cougar does not exist, then why are they afraid to issue the permit?
In the May 14,03 edition of the VanBuren county Democrat Jay Hagans of Fish and Game stated " Hagans added that a tooth--a canine tooth, not a feline fang had been removed from Cox's body by the Medical Examiner's staff.". This was on the front page. Burried in the next addition was the truth that a WHITE PEBBLE was what was really found by the Medical examiners office and not a tooth of any kind.
We hired a dog [attack] expert to look at the police photos. He determined that it would have been impossible for dogs to have made the wounds found on the body. The sheriff also ignored this evidence.
According to Justin McDonald, of the state police, none of this evidence was in the sheriff's report to the Medical Examiner's Office. Why did Sheriff Scott Bradley not include this evidence?
Dr. Lee Fitzhugh is the top expert on cougar attacks in the US and has offered to look at the photos of the body to determine if it was, or was not, a cougar attack. Despite our phone calls and letters to the Medical Examiner's Office, they have refused to let Dr. Fitzhugh see their photos. Steven James, assistant prosecutor, so far has been the only official to make an attempt to find the truth. He is the one who allowed our dog expert to view the police photos and he has sent copies of these photos to Dr. Fitzhugh for his opinion.
Stephen James also stated that the Medical Examiner's office at first told him that DNA tests would not be made, but now they say the tests came back "inconclusive". He sent them DNA samples from our dogs and requested the test be run. If DNA tests can be made from a single hair, or from mummies that have been dead for a thousand years, why couldn't they test on fresh samples they took from Leigh Ann's wounds ?
Again I ask WHY?
If the DNA test were inconclusive, and they are interested in finding the truth about what killed Leigh Ann, why is the medical examiner not willing to make use of Dr. Lee Fitzhug, the best cougar attack expert in the US?
Is there a cover up?
My wife phoned Eddie Linebarger, Fish and Game Biologist, and was told "Even if you prove that a cougar was at the scene, at the time your sister was killed, it is irrelevant. It is easier for us to investigate domestic animal attacks than wild animal attacks. Do you understand what I am saying?"
Yes Eddie, we understand that Fish and Game would rather put the people of two counties in danger than let the truth come out that a person had been killed by a cougar in this state. We believe this cougar was raised by people and either released or escaped, because it does not seem to be afraid of people or dogs, and is larger than most cougars raised in the wild.
About July 10, a neighbor saw a large cougar in her yard less than 50 feet from her house. This was broad daylight. She watched it for several minutes. When she stepped onto her porch to get a better look, the cougar looked at her and laid back it's ears, but showed no fear of her.
The cougar that killed Leigh Ann is still on the loose. Cougars can have as much as a 100 mile territory in which they hunt. This means that people in Searcy/VanBuren counties are in danger. Big cat experts have told us that this cougar is now extremely dangerous, having made a successful human kill and tasted human flesh.
A cougar can pounce on it's victim from 40 feet and can drag victims three times it's own weight. Based on the size of the tracks, the Memphis Zoo Assistant Curator estimated the cat's weight to be at least 150 pounds. Cougars usually drag their victim to a secluded place and then eat them. People with children, or grandchildren should be very concerned for their safety.
A $3,000 reward (good until Sept.15 -2003) is offered for the cougar that killed Leigh Ann Cox with no questions asked. Call us and we will come get the cougar and the address to have the check sent. You do not need to get involved with the Fish and Game. We can verify whether or not it is the same cougar by matching the castings and tracks found at the scene. Anybody with questions, or cougar sightings, please call us.
Ken & Barbara Davison
|Return to my Leigh Ann Cox report online||Go to my Lion Pages Introduction|