Sheriff: Dogs who mauled owner to death euthanized

  • Sheriff: Dogs who mauled owner to death euthanized

Sheriff: Dogs who mauled owner to death euthanized

"Shortly after capturing the dogs responsible for the mauling of Bethany Stephens, Goochland deputies consulted Bethany's next-of-kin".

Her wounds, which also included puncture wounds in her skull, were consistent with having been mauled.

'Those dogs would not attack her, ' she said.

Agnew noted that Stephens' death was not a homicide and that there were no strangulation marks on her body.

Goodland County Sheriff James Agnew said they arrived on a wooded scene after Stephens' father went looking for his daughter. 'In my 40 years of law enforcement I've never seen anything like it, ' Agnew said.

Agnew said that while the medical examiner's findings are preliminary as they await toxicology results, "it was fairly obvious to us that she had suffered defensive wounds from the animal bites".

"While we were talking about strategies to catch the dogs, we turned and looked, the dogs had gone back over to the body and I observed along with four other investigators the dogs eating the rib cage on the body", sheriff Agnew explained.

He discovered her dogs in the woods, and he told the sheriff's office the dogs appeared to be "guarding" Bethany's body, according to WTVR. "Dogs don't typically just out of the blue attack their owners, so there is typically some kind of provocation".

The dogs had previously been indoor dogs and with her coming home maybe five times a week, they became more isolated.

A medical examiner told the department that Stephens was attacked by the animals while she was still alive, and that one of the animals had a significant amount of blood on his collar and neck. Were they being attacked by somebody, were they trying to defend themselves and their owner from somebody else, from a wild animal? "Were there stray dogs, coyotes [or] something else in the woods".

He said Stephens' relatives have requested for the dogs to be euthanized.

"A lot of people are saying [the dogs] wouldn't guard if they killed, but the reality is if it's a resource, they may guard that as their food source or their toy the same way that a dog might guard a bone on a blanket", Paul explained. He added that it took investigators eight hours to collect over 60 pieces of evidence.

"I hope I never see anything like it again".

Goochland County Sheriff's Office is working to have the dogs euthanized.

The dogs were euthanized on Saturday.