“Use caution” traveling near scene of deadly animal attacks, Cocke County Sheriff’s Office warns

The Cocke County Sheriff’s Office warned travelers to use caution along Jimtown Road near Newport, after two people died following attacks by dogs or other animals.
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 3:24 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2021 at 4:37 PM EDT

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Two people died after separate attacks by dogs or other animals along Jimtown Road in Cocke County, prompting authorities to warn travelers to use caution in the area as the investigation continues.

Two people attacked on the same street months apart in what appears to be an animal attack . Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes gave us an update on the investigation. @AbbyKousouris is live with those details

Posted by WVLT on Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The first attack happened on April 1 and resulted in the death of Tony Ahrens, 52.

According to the report, an official responded to Jimtown Road where he found an unresponsive man, identified as Ahrens, on the side of the road. The report described Ahrens as heavily injured.

“The male had lacerations across his entire body and flesh missing from his left arm,” the report said.

The second victim, 29-year-old Amber Miller, was attacked on July 12. According to the report, officials were told by witnesses that Miller was found at 522 Jimtown Road asking for help. Three dogs were spotted around Miller licking the wounds where she had been attacked, the report said.

Witnesses were able to take Miller to the hospital, where medical staff described her injuries as severe, noting her calf was “ripped off” and her arms were “barely attached to her body,” the report said.

WVLT News spoke with a man who claimed to take Miller to the hospital, along with friends of the victim. They spoke on the condition of Miller when they found her.

Amber Miller’s mother has also spoken to WVLT News. She said she hopes to see justice for her daughter. “I hope to get justice for Amber as well as anyone else these dogs have attacked,” she said. “Amber was a precious loving angel on earth and now she been given her wings. I loved her so much I can’t believe she’s gone.”

Authorities with the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office warned those traveling on Jimtown Road to “use caution until the investigation concludes.”

WVLT News spoke to law enforcement in Cocke County Wednesday. Officials said they are currently conducting search warrants and interviews, but due to the ongoing investigations, they were not able to clarify further.

When asked why people were not warned about the animals earlier, law enforcement officials said the circumstances surrounding the original attack were not clear.

Both investigations are ongoing at this time.

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