GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va. — A Virginia woman was mauled to death by her own pit bulls Thursday while out for a walk with them in her Goochland County neighborhood, authorities said.
Victim Bethany Lynn Stephens, 22, was found in a wooded area by her father after he went looking for her when she didn't return home from the walk, according to WTVR-TV.
He told told sheriff's officials that her two dogs appeared to be "guarding" her body when he found his daughter.
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"It appeared the attack was a violent attack initiated by the victims' dogs while the victim was out for a walk with the dogs," Sheriff James Agnew said, citing the Medical Examiner's initial report indicated, WTVR reported.
"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," Agnew told the TV station.
He said Stephens apparently sustained injuries to her face and throat.
"It appears she was taken to the ground, lost consciousness, and the dogs then mauled her to death," he said.
Goochland County Animal control has custody of the pit bulls, which will be euthanized.
The sheriff told WTVR it was a grisley mauling.
"In my 40 years of law enforcement I've never seen anything quite like it. I hope I never see anything like it again," he said.
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