08/01/2012 AT 5:45 PM ET
Louisiana Tech University’s mascot, an English bulldog named Tech XX, was reported missing over the weekend, and a $2,000 reward was offered for his safe return by residents of Ruston, La., where the college is located.
But on Wednesday, Dr. Patrick Sexton, Tech XX’s caretaker and the owner of the animal clinic where he resided, revealed that the dog had actually died due to the negligence of an employee, who then attempted to cover up his passing.
“Tech XX was left outside too long on Sunday evening and passed away from a heat stroke,” he said in a statement. “Due to this negligence, the employee is no longer employed by Sexton Animal Health Center.”
Despite the seemingly preventable circumstances, a statement from the University absolved Dr. Sexton of any responsibility, and shared the institution’s grief over Tech XX’s death.
“We are grateful for all [Dr. Sexton] and his family have done for our beloved mascot,” it read. “Tech XX was a cherished member of the Louisiana Tech Family … He will be remembered for being a fan favorite and a symbol of the spirit of Louisiana Tech.”
When his whereabouts were still unknown, Dr. Sexton voiced his own sadness at the dog’s disappearance.
“There’s a void without him around,” he said.
[RELATED_TEXT “Can’t get enough pet news? See more on PEOPLE Pets