Authorities say a black bear ate the body of a Humboldt County man after he died of a heart attack on his way to check his water supplies.
Marion Lee Williams, 65, died sometime last week not far from his property, which is where the bear had also apparently created a home for itself, said Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Roy Horton.
The bear probably came across Williams, who had collapsed and died of a heart attack, then dragged his body into a cave to eat.
Investigators used Williams’ fingerprints, dentures and pieces of clothing to identify him.
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.”
Williams lived alone and “off the grid” in a trailer in the community of Briceland, six miles west of Redway, authorities said.
He was last seen on Oct. 8, but his friends did not report him missing until Saturday.
When his friends still hadn’t heard from him, they searched his property and found his remains.