The Muskingum County Coroner has released the final report on Terry Thompson, the Kopchak road man who released dozens of wild animals before committing suicide.
The findings show that Thompson had no alcohol or illegal drugs in his system. Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz reacted to the release of the autopsy report.
"I think the biggest key there was for everybody was wanting to know if there were any drugs or alcohol in his system, and again that doesn’t really get too much of a reaction from me." explained Lutz. "Who knows why people do the things they do, and as I said when this thing first started, I wasn’t going to speculate on what caused him to do what he did."
The medical report also indicated that Thompson died of a gunshot wound, and was bitten and clawed by large cats right after his death on October 18th. Sheriff Lutz was in charge of the deputies that were forced to kill the 48 loose animals, including bears, lions, and endangered Bengal tigers. The status of the animals that were saved remains in the air.
"Well right now, we’re weighing out options as far as with the Department of Agriculture and working with the zoo, staying in touch with the Governor’s office about what can be done with the animals." said Lutz. "Obviously there were some tests that were supposed to be done, or are being done, and they’re waiting on those results to come back, and obviously we’ll know a little bit more. Obviously, our concern is if the animals are brought back to Muskingum County, that they’re being housed in a proper location, that we’re not going to have this kind of incident again."
Three leopards, two primates, and a grizzly bear are currently in the care of the Columbus Zoo. Terry Thompson’s wife is in the process of trying to get them back. The state of Ohio is working on tougher laws when it comes to owning exotic animals.