Meth, Not Bear, Killed Man in Smokies
A man found dead in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in September died of an accidental meth overdose before being partially eaten by a bear, which was later euthanized, an autopsy has concluded.
The bear found near the body of William Lee Hill Jr., 30, displayed “aggressive behaviors” as park rangers worked on Sept. 11 to recover Hill’s body, according to news reports at the time.
Biologists trapped the bear, put a GPS collar on it, and released the animal. After reviewing DNA recovered from the bear, officials determined it should be killed. The bear was tracked and fatally shot Sept. 16.
Hill, of Louisville, Tenn., died of an accidental meth overdose, park officials said Monday, Feb. 4.
Hill had a history of drug use, and his body was found near drug paraphernalia, the Knoxville News Sentinel newspaper reported, citing the autopsy report.
His body was found near Rich Mountain Road in the Cades Cove area of the park four days after he became separated from a friend while they were searching for ginseng.
The Sentinel also reported that Hill’s friend, Joshua David Morgan, died Oct. 1, but the cause of death was not clear. The newspaper said Morgan’s obituary described the two as best friends.
Lead image via Pixabay.
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