Mugo Odigwe reporting

NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) — An investigation is underway after a man found with his throat slashed. The man, 50, is in critical condition at Sutter Roseville Hospital. His injuries were so gruesome that it was initially reported as a mountain lion attack.

The incident happened Sunday evening along You Bet Road and Greenhaven Lane in Nevada County.

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“There’s a man back there on the road. His neck, his neck. He needs help. He’s hurt,” said Kristen Brumm.

Brumm and her boyfriend’s family were driving on You Bet Road, on their way to a Christmas party on Sunday evening when another driver flagged them down.

“She was crying hysterically,” Brumm said. The driver then alerted the family to a man along the road whose throat had been slashed.

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“I thought his head was gone. There was blood everywhere,” Brumm said.

Brumm and her companions tried to ask him what had happened but, “he couldn’t talk and he was gagging and just shaking and it was really awful. I said a lot of prayers for him,” she said.

They immediately called the police and on Monday morning authorities were still at the property on the 17000 block of You Bet Road where they believe the man was assaulted.

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“We’re out here serving a criminal search warrant to look for evidence of an assault,” said Lieutenant Rob Bringolf of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.

Bringolf said the incident was initially reported to them as a mountain lion attack, but they were able to disprove that with the help of the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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“We are convinced that this is an assault that took place. Reported to be a mountain lion attack. We don’t have any indication that this point that supports that theory,” he said.

Instead, the Sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information to contact their Major Crimes Unit at (530)-265-1263.

As for Brumm, she’s thankful to have driven by at the right time.

“He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t move and so if we hadn’t showed up I don’t think he could have made it,” she said.

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No arrests have been made in the case, which is active and ongoing.