Injuries that resulted in the death of a Woodlawn man Tuesday appear to have been caused by a large farm animal.
Carroll County Sheriff J.B. Gardner said preliminary results of an autopsy on Claude Gardner, 54, of Woodlawn Road in Woodlawn point to the death from a farm animal. Gardner said the farm where Gardner’s body was found Wednesday after being missing for more than 18 hours does include large cattle.
“It appeared to be a farm accident and he sustained some chest injuries quite possibly from a farm animal,” the sheriff said.
The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office began investigating it as a suspicious death after the body was found Wednesday morning near a creek close to Woodlawn Road.
According to Sheriff Gardner, the family of the man found the body at 7 a.m. Wednesday morning. Gardner said the man had been reported missing Tuesday evening, and Carroll County Search and Rescue was called in to search a little after 7 p.m. Tuesday. Gardner said crews searched until midnight but never found anything, and the search was called off because of a hard rain. A Virginia State Police helicopter was also called in, but later sent back because of the weather.
Gardner said there were no visible signs of injury when the body was found. The body was sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke on Thursday morning for an autopsy and for positive identification.
Gardner said the man had last been seen going on the family farm at around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning. Someone went to check on him a couple of hours later and couldn’t find him. After searching for a while, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office was then called.