Sheriff offers grisly details to end speculation about woman killed by dogs

Bethany Stephens was found mauled to death in the woods

Family, friends and colleagues at a dog training facility where Stephens worked, said the victim was experienced working with animals and the dogs were well socialized and passive.

"Much to his horror, discovered that it was not", Goochland County Sheriff Jim Agnew told reporters at a news conference Friday.

However, police are still investigating and are carrying out forensic tests.

"It's a pity that dogs sometimes feel there's no option other than to bite", she says. There, he found the canines, guarding what he first thought was an animal carcass. When they turned back around, they saw that the dogs had walked over to the body. "None of that", Whitlock told reporters. 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.

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. "But. from the evidence that we observed, from the evidence that we collected, that narrative doesn't fit".

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

Sgt. Mike Blackwood said the dogs were left with Stephens' father, and the indoor dogs were held up outside "in the cold" inside a small kennel.

"Since this has happened, I spent a significant amount of time researching attacks by dogs of this sort and while it is not an everyday occurrence, it is not rare and it happens with some frequency in this country", Agnew said.




In the months leading up to the deadly attack, Tonka and Pacman went from living inside with their owner to living in a kennel outside of Stephens' father's home after Stephens' and her ex-husband divorced. "They are dealing with trying to piece everything together...they wish to remain private".

"The medical examiner... made it pretty clear that it was not a large animal because the bite wounds didn't puncture her skull, " Sheriff Agnew said.

Agnew did correct some misinformation that had come out of his office. One friend told local media that the dogs were gentle.

"We have been able to follow that up today, and we have determined that that is false", Agnew said.

Bethany Lynn Stephens', from Virginia in the U.S., adored her pet pitbulls Tonca and Pac-Man, having raised them from puppies. Agnew told The Post earlier that the dogs' combined weight was about twice that of Stephens', which was a little more than 100 pounds. Family gave permission. Presser at 4pm.

'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'.

Sheriff Agnew said once that takes place it will be about two weeks before results are available and there could potentially be more answers as to what may have happened.

Their bodies are being preserved until authorities find a lab that can perform a necropsy, Blackwood said.

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