Autopsy report cites Rivercrest man's manner of death as homicide, lists five stab wounds

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - An Angelina County justice of the peace has released the autopsy report on a 73-year-old man who was found dead outside his home in the Rivercrest community on March 24.

The autopsy report lists Franklin Donald Cox's manner of death as "homicide" and states that the cause of his death was "sharp force injuries." Cox suffered a total of five stab or slash wounds to his neck and chest, the report stated.

"Autopsy was most significant for multiple sharp force injuries," the report's summary stated. "The pattern of the injuries suggests that more than one instrument may have been involved in delivering the injuries."

Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Donnie Puckett, who ordered the autopsy, released the report Wednesday.

Dr. John M. Wayne, a pathologist at Forensic Medical Management Services of Texas in Beaumont, performed the autopsy on March 27.

According to the autopsy report, one of the wounds to Cox's neck was a slash that nicked his jugular vein. One of the stab wounds to his chest penetrated his heart. In all, Cox had two stab or slash wounds to his neck and three stab wounds to his chest.

The toxicology test showed that there were no drugs or alcohol in Cox's system when he tied, the report stated.

According to a press release, ACSO deputies and detectives responded to the 500 block of Joe Bynum Road in Rivercrest in the morning of March 24 in connection to a body that had been found. The press release stated that the body of Franklin Donald Cox was found outside his home.

"Foul play is strongly suspected," a previous press release stated. "In order to preserve the integrity of the evidence and the investigation, no further information will be released at this time. An autopsy has been ordered, and the investigation is continuing."

Lt. Brett Maisel with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division said that there has been investigative activity on the case every week since the sheriff's office first responded to the scene.  He said the evidence has been submitted to the lab, and those results are pending.

"Rivercrest is a tight-knit community, and we know that that someone can assist us with additional facts about this case," Maisel said. "The ACSO is renewing their request for anyone with information to contact the Angelina County Sheriff's Department or Deep East Texas Crime Stoppers.

Anyone with any information about Cox's death is urged to call the Angelina County Sheriff's Office at (936) 634-3331. To make an anonymous tip and be eligible for a cash reward, call Crime stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip online at

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