Louisiana Tech mascot initially reported missing actually died of heatstroke as the result of being left outisde on Sunday, according to university officials.
The Louisiana Tech mascot, an English bulldog by the name of Tech XX, was left outside by a now-fired employee, according to the veterinarian that kept the mascot, Patrick Sexton.
"Regretfully, I learned this morning that through negligence of an employee, Tech XX was left outside too long on Sunday evening and passed away from a heat stroke. That employee unfortunately chose to handle it the wrong way and attempted to cover it up. Due to his negligence, the employee is no longer employed by Sexton Animal Health Center," read a statement sent from Sexton to the university Wednesday.
"Tech XX was a member of our immediate family and a daily part of our lives for the past four years," said Patrick Sexton in a statement. "We are devastated over the circumstances of his passing, and there will be a large void in our hearts for some time to come. As with any family member, we will spend considerable time grieving his passing."
The mascot was initially reported missing as an employee stated he let the dog out to use the bathroom and that is when the dog disappeared. Students and residents of Ruston, the home of Louisiana Tech University, immediately went looking for the English bulldog as a $2,000 reward was offered for the mascot's return.
According to the university, Tech XX received superior care and a loving home from Sexton's team since becoming the Louisiana Tech mascot in 2008.
"He will be remembered for being a fan favorite and a symbol of the spirit of Louisiana Tech," the university said.
The Louisiana Tech mascot's predecessor, Tech XIX, was retired in 2007 due to health concerns stemming from a bout of heatstroke, according to the university's website.