Virginia woman mauled to death by her pet pit bulls

Virginia woman mauled to death by her pet pit bulls

"(Her body) was being guarded by two very large, brindle-colored pit bull dogs", Sheriff James L. Agnew said during a news conference Friday.

The evidence led law enforcement to the conclusion that Stephens was in fact, mauled to death by her dogs, but, for many, the idea of two dogs ripping their owner apart is incomprehensible, and the Sheriff's Office was flooded with questions and speculation about the case. "It appears she was taken to the ground, lost consciousness, and the dogs then mauled her to death". He told The Washington Post earlier that investigators don't suspect foul play and that evidence recovered from the scene, including defensive wounds on her hands and arms, showed that the dogs were responsible for her death.

Agnew said he chose to disclose the gruesome details about Stephens' death, which he had been reluctant to divulge out of concern for her family, to reassure people that there isn't a killer on the loose.

"That's not something I would normally see", she said.

The dogs, which will be euthanized, are being held at Goochland Animal Control.

But despite reports from the medical examiner stating that Stephens' injuries were consistent with being mauled, friends of the victim have spoken out to advocate for the dogs, claiming details of the story don't add up.

Stephens' friends told WRIC that they are certain that her dogs would have never hurt her.

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"They'd kill you with kisses", Norris told NBC affiliate WWBT, adding that the dogs' kennels looked as though they had been forced open.

"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. A Change.org petition started by Norris on the dogs' behalf has already racked up thousands of signatures.

Agnew said he had been withholding the details because he was concerned it would upset Stephens' family. "And I observed, along with four other deputy sheriffs observed, the dog eating the rib cage on the body".

After discovering his daughter's body and the dogs guarding it, Stephens' father called 911.

"While we were thinking about strategies to catch the dogs, we had turned and looked, the dogs had gone back over to the body", said Sheriff Jim Agnew. They have since been put down with the family's permission.

However, police are still investigating and are carrying out forensic tests. "The injuries were very severe", Agnew said, as reported by Yahoo News.

"I think the investigation needs to be ongoing", Learn said. Police described them as pit bulls. A local veterinarian told WTVR in Virginia that animals don't just normally attack their owners unprovoked. "Once a dog tastes human flesh, it's no longer safe to have that dog around humans".

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