This afternoon officials at Louisiana Tech learned of the death of their mascot, Tech XX. The English Bulldog was reported missing from the Sexton Animal Center. It was announced this afternoon that Tech XX died as the result of negligence by an employee at the animal center.

Tech XX was reported missing earlier this week. Louisiana Tech’s Dr. Patrick Sexton, who served as the dog’s caretaker, promised a $1,000 reward for his safe return. That number doubled in an effort to increase the chances of finding Tech XX alive.

Sexton issued the following statement about the beloved mascot’s tragic death:

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 this negligence, the employee is no longer employed by Sexton Animal Health Center.

My family, my staff and I are extremely upset at this tragic turn of events as I know the entire Louisiana Tech Family is as well. Tech XX was a member of our immediate family and a daily part of our lives for the past four years. 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.

Louisiana Tech University said the following:

Louisiana Tech University was saddened to learn of Tech XX’s passing this past Sunday evening. He will be remembered for being a fan favorite and a symbol of the spirit of Louisiana Tech.

Since becoming our official mascot in 2008, Tech XX received superior care and a loving home from Dr. Patrick Sexton and, despite the unfortunate circumstances of the past few days, we are grateful for all he and his family have done for our beloved mascot.

Tech XX was a cherished member of the Louisiana Tech Family and, together, we will all grieve his passing.