It’s often said that dead men tell no tales. However, forensic investigators – both professional and amateur – do and a mysterious and gruesome death of a taxi driver in Mexico has many of them arguing over the cause of it … with suggestions ranging from wild canines to a lion to a Chupacabra. What could trigger such a wide range of theories … and a fear among locals that prompted officials to close all schools until it is resolved and for the state attorney general become involved?
“Attack in Valle de Bravo, Mexico “revives” the legend of the Chupacabras”
The Yucatan Times used that headline to report on the death of 56-year-old taxi driver, Melchor Anselmo Delgado, whose body was found on March 1st but whose cause of death was still a mystery four days later. Delgado had gone out to check on property he owned in Valle de Bravo, a town in the State of Mexico on the shore of Lake Avándaro in south central Mexico. When he did not come back, family members went looking for Delgado and first found a shredded sweatshirt. Going back for lights and help, they eventually found his lifeless body.
“We know that it is very likely that it is a large and carnivorous animal. We have the body of a person who has no impact from firearms, has no injuries from a sharp instrument, has no strangulation features, what he presents is a matter of bites, of tissue tearing due to what appears to be claws.”
That report came from Alejandro Gómez, Attorney General of Justice of the State of Mexico. Why was the state attorney general involved? It turns out that attacks by packs of wild dogs have been a problem in the state for a number of years.
“Between December 2012 and January 2013, the bodies of four people were found . among them a 26-year-old girl and her 8-month- old son , in places of the Cerro de la Estrella ecological reserve in Iztapalapa. The then Attorney General of the capital concluded that the death of these people was caused by the attack of 10 or more dogs , that is, by a pack.”
However, relatives told Infoebae at the time that the bodies showed unexplained signs of torture. Relatives of Delgado said that his wounds do not resemble those made by a dog or even a pack of dogs. The claw marks were said to be 7 cm (2.75 in) deep. The attorney general responded that Delgado probably was killed by a dog pack, but the wounds could have been made later by some other animals – a theory the family rejected because of the short time between the death and the discovery of the body. However, the deep wounds caused other experts to also discount the dog theory and instead propose something much larger and more deadly – even bigger than a coyote or wolf:
“While research suggests that the attack was perpetrated by a lion or a Bengal tiger that allegedly escaped from a nearby ranch, the mayor also does not rule out that it was caused by some other type of big cat or a pack of wild dogs that live in the forest area.”
The Yucatan Times reports that the mayor is so concerned about an escaped big cat or some other “carnivorous and dangerous animal” that schools were closed in 13 educational areas until the beast or beasts were identified and captured or killed. While wildlife experts who examined the fur believe it’s from a large canine, DNA samples have not yet been tested (as of this writing) to confirm it. A massive hunt, involving both police and military, is underway.
A large dog would not make such deep claw marks and many locals have reported hearing roars, so it’s not surprising that they don’t believe the experts or the government and continue to fear the creature is an escaped big cat or a Chupacabra, which is believed to have long sharp claws and long sharp spikes on its back. While there’s no report of Delgado’s body being drained of blood, that doesn’t allay their fears, especially in a country with so little trust of the government. The Yucatan Times did little to quell those fears by giving a detailed history of the Chupacabra in the same story.
Will his family and the residents of Valle de Bravo ever find out what kind of beast killed Melchor Anselmo Delgado? Will they accept the answer? Will local schools be forced to stage Chupacabra drills?
We’ll be watching for further developments.