Published: Sun, December 17, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Virginia woman killed in 'grisly mauling' by her dogs, cops says

Virginia woman killed in 'grisly mauling' by her dogs, cops says

A 22-year-old Virginia woman appears to have been mauled to death by her dogs while out for a walk.

Bethany Lynn Stephens' father called 911 Thursday, at about 8:18 p.m., when he went looking for his daughter off Manakin Road in Goochland, where she often walked her dogs. According to police, the woman's father reported her missing and called 911 saying he hadn't seen his daughter in nearly two days.

In a news gathering Friday, Sheriff James L. Agnew said Stephens' body was discovered protected by "two expansive, spot hued pitbull dogs".

He spotted her but thought she was only hurt. Authorities stumbled upon a more grave discovery. Her father also said that it seemed that her pet dogs were "guarding" Bethany. It took officers an hour and a half to catch the dogs when they arrived at the scene. Agnew is likely to request that they be euthanized.

The sheriff said that according to a preliminary report from the medical examiner, Stephens two pit bulls, each weighing about the same amount as her, 125 pounds, killed their owner.


"It was an absolutely grisly mauling", Agnew said.

Friends say Stephens had recently been receiving death threats prior to the incident, which is another reason why they question whether the dogs were to blame. Agnew said that first traumatic injury she had was on her throat and on her face. The scene was strewn with blood and articles of clothing. "I think we ended up going to bed around 12:30 or 1 o'clock. they were still out".

The medical examiner said Stephens had defensive wounds on her hands and arms from fighting off the dogs. She says they even slept in bed with her at night. But she wonders if there is more to the story.

"In my 40 years of law enforcement I've never seen anything quite like it". "Hope I never see anything like it again".

A man who used to work with Stephens at a dog training facility told CBS 6 that Stephens was very experienced working with animals, and loved her dogs.

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