Joseph and Lindsay Brink owned two dogs that were believed to have attacked and killed an 85-year-old man who was bicycling alone in Christian City, Missouri. Vernon Vogt died from injuries that stemmed from the attack and his son brought a wrongful death suit, which was later settled for $300,000. The Christian County Sheriff’s Department used DNA testing to investigate the matter in which no criminal charges were filed. The settlement is said to be allocated as $111,957 for Vogt, $100,120 for his attorneys, and $87,922 in medical expense reimbursement to Medicare. Judge Laura Johnson has approved the agreement.
Prior to his death, Vogt was in the hospital in Springfield when visited on several occasions by investigators. Corporal David Bernier interviewed Vogt showing his pictures of several breeds of dogs, bears, and other potential animals capable of such a devastating attack.
Vogt, who had significant wounds throughout his extremities, at one point identified a photo of a coyote as having a resemblance to the attacker(s). The DNA results ruled out animals such as coyotes, mountain lions, and several others. The authorities put in significant effort in the case as they compiled a 17-page report detailing the evidence. The investigators ultimately took DNA samples from the Brinks’ dogs which solved the mystery. In the meanwhile, the owners had sold one of the dogs and the other was taken to an animal shelter.
Residents in the upscale Anchor Hill area were stunned by the attack that occurred on Northwoods Road and were concerned that the attacker was still at-large. The area is located southeast of Rogersville, an unlikely area for an assault to occur. No one witnessed the incident and Sheriff Brad Cole initially thought the attack may have been conducted by a wild animal or that he may have been hit and dragged by a car. Vogt became unconscious at some point during the attack; therefore, his recollection was limited. Fortunately, a member of his family found him in time to contact an ambulance to rush Vogt to Mercy Hospital.
Some of the evidence in the case included saliva on Vogt’s clothing. The report explained that the sheriff’s officer was able to physically examine the dogs without incident or resistance from the Brinks. The dogs showed no indication of blood, human flesh, or other evidence that the dogs had orchestrated the attack. The animals did not appear to have recently been washed in any efforts to hide evidence of the attack and authorities doubted that the owners had knowledge of the incident. The parties in the matter hope that the settlement will lead to some sense of closure.