VALLEY CENTER, Calif. (AP) - A man whose partial remains were found by hikers had been torn apart by coyotes after he was already dead, a state Fish and Game investigation concluded.
The agency made its finding based on autopsy results and a close examination of the area where the remains were discovered, Fish and Game patrol Lt. Bob Turner said Wednesday.
In addition, it would be highly unusual for a coyote to attack and kill an adult, Turner said.
An exact cause of death hasn't been determined, but the man was identified as Michael E. Johnson, 53, a transient who was staying in the area, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's office said.
The identification was based on a wallet and prescription medicine found in his pocket, but the man's head and hands were missing, Turner said.
Hikers found the remains, consisting only of the chest and one leg, about 70 yards from a road near Lake Wohlford in northern San Diego County. Authorities called Fish and Game to determine if he had been killed by a mountain lion or some other type of animal.