Details Revealed in Dog Mauling of Virginia Woman Found in Woods

22 December, 2017, 01:12 | Author: Patty Aguilar
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Rumours swirled around the death of Bethany Lynn Stephens, a young woman from rural Virginia who, authorities said, was mauled to death by her dogs while out on a walk last week.

According to the Goochland County Sheriff's Office, Bethany Lynn Stephens' body was found by deputies around 8:18 pm Thursday in a wooded area. Agnew previously made several statements that he cleared up on Monday - after an avalanche of phone calls and social media - and he offered more detail.

Told Agnew via Pix 11, 'Let me cut right to the chase, the most important detail that we did not release because we were anxious about the well-being of the family is that in the course of trying to capture the dogs early Friday morning, we turned and looked...

Investigators say Stephens' body showed signs of canine bite injuries sustained both before and after her death.

'The victim had defensive wounds on her hands and arms trying to keep the dogs away from her, which would be consistent with being attacked while she was still alive'.

After her friends said Stephens had received death threats prior to her actual death, police looked into it and did find that there was a person considered to be a threat.

A friend of Stephens' was later able to capture the dogs, the sheriff said. Had she been attacked by a bigger animal, such as a bear, Agnew said, the bites would've punctured her skull. Her family gave police permission to euthanize the dogs on Saturday. Nothing that said she was stabbed. There was no particular bleeding inside the oesophagus, which would've been conducive with choking her out.

Agnew said that investigators are still conducting forensic tests and interviewing witnesses. "But. from the evidence that we observed, from the evidence that we collected, that narrative doesn't fit".

The Goochland County Sheriff's Office opted on Tuesday to release more details about the mauling in an attempt to "mollify" wild speculation about the case on social media.

There is also no evidence that she had been sexually assaulted, authorities said.

"The dogs were a little bit neglected towards the end", Sergeant Mike Blackwood said, adding that the pit bulls lived with Stephens' dad on his property, outside in the cold". "And they became more isolated where the only contact they had was with each other and it was less and less human contact".

"I don't think there's any way we can definitively say what caused the attack", Agnew told reporters.

Reports suggest that at the time of her death, the dogs had been living with Bethany's father, John, who'd left the dogs outside. A toxicology report is being run on Stephens and is expected to be completed in about three months. "They are dealing with trying to piece everything together".

'What I observed personally, it was in the community's best interest, ' Agnew said. 'Once a dog tastes human flesh it is not safe to have that dog around humans'.

Agnew said investigators still do not know why the animals turned on Stephens.


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