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Arkansas Dad Allegedly Amputated Leg With Chop Saw While 5-Year-Old Daughter Watched

Shannon Cox allegedly told his wife he was both Satan and Jesus before severing his right leg with a cut off saw in front of the couple’s 5-year-old child.

By Dorian Geiger
Tragic and Disturbing Cases of Child Abuse

An Arkansas dad has been arrested for endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly cutting off his own leg with a standing saw in front of his 5-year-old daughter.

Authorities were dispatched to 48-year-old Shannon Cox’s Boone County home on Aug. 2, after receiving reports he’d amputated his right leg, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.

Upon arrival, a deputy found Cox naked outside the home missing a “portion of his right leg,” per the affidavit, and Cox allegedly told officers that he'd used a “chop saw” to carry out the amputation. The Arkansas father’s severed limb was still “lying on the saw” when the first deputy arrived at the home.

Cox was later airlifted to a hospital in Springfield, Missouri. It's unclear if doctors were able to reattach the leg.

Police recovered a RIDGID-brand cut off machine from the house, which was covered in blood spatter and next to a blood-splattered wall.

A photo of the Ridgid Chop Saw that was used in the crime

Outside the home, investigators located a white sedan with the hood popped. A 20-pound propane tank and Cox’s driver’s license were discovered lying on top of the car’s battery. Ashes were found in the car’s interior and the car’s rear passenger window had been smashed, police said.

Cox’s 5-year-old daughter was also removed from the property by law enforcement.

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Shannon Cox’s wife, Sandy Cox, told investigators in an interview the following morning that her husband had been “acting odd all day long,” and had allegedly rambled about being both Jesus and Satan. 

“Sandy said he was telling her that he was Jesus Christ and that she needed to get right with the Lord,” charging documents stated. “Sandy said he then became violent towards her and said that he was Satan.”

Shannon Cox then threatened to “twist off” his wife’s head, according to her account.

Sandy Cox told law enforcement she'd left the residence around 8:15 p.m. and went to a friend’s home because she feared her spouse would “kill her.” She claimed she didn’t take her five-year-old daughter, who present in the home, because she “wasn’t worried” Shannon Cox would harm the child, per the case’s affidavit.

The couple’s daughter — who was said to be in a “state of shock” when interviewed by police — told detectives she was at the home when her dad cut his own leg off, the affidavit alleged.

Shannon Cox and Sandy Cox were ultimately both charged with felony counts of endangering the welfare of a minor. Officials haven’t released a motive in the incident, which they termed "bizarre."

“They’re innocent until proven guilty,” Deputy District Attorney Wes Bradford told Oxygen.com on Friday. “It is a very disturbing set of facts and we’re certainly going to do everything we can do to protect the child. It is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.” 

A judge ordered Shannon Cox to have no contact with his five-year-old child. The couple were released on $10,000 bonds, court filings show. They’re expected to appear back in court on Oct. 18, prosecutors said. Attorney information wasn’t immediately available for either of them.

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