No foul play suspected in pit bulls' mauling of 22-year-old woman
There is no foul play suspected in the death of a 22-year-old Virginia woman mauled by her two pit bulls, authorities say.
Goochland County Sheriff James Agnew emphasized Monday during a press conference that the two dogs "were not bred for fighting," adding that they were euthanized on Saturday, two days following the tragic attack on Bethany Lynn Stephens.
"From what we found on the scene, from the evidence we observed, from the evidence we collected, that narrative doesn’t fit," Agnew said when asked about the possibility of foul play, according to the Times-Dispatch. “We had a number of witnesses who came forward, and we were able to put a time frame together and put people’s movements together."
See images of Bethany Lynn Stephens:
Agnew said that investigators are still conducting forensic tests and interviewing witnesses. Stephens' body was found by deputies Thursday night in a wooded area in Goochland.
The sheriff described the disturbing scene when authorities arrived to find the dogs still attacking Stephens on Thursday. It was clear that she had suffered serious injuries and was already dead, Agnew said.
Agnew said that they observed the dogs eating the ribcage on Stephens' body. It became a question of whether to kill the dogs or try to capture them.
A friend of Stephens was able to help capture the dogs, and they were taken to Goochland County Animal Control where they were eventually euthanized.
"I don’t think there’s any way we can definitively say what caused the attack," Agnew said, according to the Times-Dispatch.
He added that authorities don't believe another larger animal was involved in the attack, according to Tribune Media.
"The medical examiner ... made it pretty clear that it was not a large animal because the bite wounds didn’t puncture her skull," Agnew said, according to Tribune Media. "There were also scratch marks consistent with a smaller animal than something like a bear."