Authorities said Bethany Lynn Stephens, a 22-year-old Virginia woman, was mauled to death by her pet pit bulls in an “absolutely grisly” attack during a walk in the woods.
Her distraught pals say the dogs would never hurt their owner and suspect foul play. Bethany’s father, John, went searching for his daughter when he hadn’t seen her for two days and found her two dogs “guarding” her lifeless body, local Sheriff James Agnew said.
“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 said of the medical examiner’s initial report.
He added: “In my 40 years of law enforcement I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I hope I never see anything like it again.”
The dogs, Pac-Man and Tonka, are believed to each weigh just as much as their 5-foot-1, 125-pound owner. Authorities suspect the animals were bred for fighting and said no strangulation marks were found. However, the investigation is still ongoing, Agnew said homicide is out of the question.
But Stephens’ friends said the pit bulls would never hurt her. “I know those dogs didn’t do it,” Barbara Norris said.
“Those dogs would not attack her,’ Norris continued. “They’d kill you with kisses.” Friends said Stephens had been getting death threats.
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