Authorities say a black bear ate the body of a California man after he collapsed and died of a heart attack.
Marion Lee Williams, 65, died at some point last week not far from his property, within the bear’s territory, said Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Roy Horton.
“The bear did eat most of this guy,” he said. “He was about 85 percent consumed.”
Horton speculates the bear probably came across Williams’ body and dragged the body into a cave to eat. Williams had apparently collapsed and died sometime last week. There is no evidence the bear attacked the man.
“It looks like he collapsed and died,” he said. “The bear comes along and sees a potential food source.”
Williams was identified via fingerprints, dentures and pieces of clothing.
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The California Department of Fish and Wildlife considered searching for the bear to potentially euthanize it, spokesman Andrew Hughan said. But the bear was long gone.
“The bear does not pose a public threat,” Hughan said. “It was just doing what bears do.”
“We’re not going to find the bear,” he said. “The bear was behaving naturally.”
Williams lived a solitary life “off the grid” in a trailer in the community of Briceland, California, six miles west of Redway, according to authorities.
He was last seen on Oct. 8, but friends didn’t report him missing until Saturday.
When his friends still hadn’t heard from him, they searched his property and found his remains.