The body of Bethany Stephens, 22, was found by local authorities in a wooded area off of Manakin Road in Goodland, Virginia.
Stephens was found mauled and bloodied at around 8:20 p.m. on Thursday, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
According to authorities, the young woman was killed by her own dogs while taking them for a walk in the woods near her home. In a press conference Friday, Sheriff James L. Agnew claimed Stephens’ body was found guarded by “two very large, brindle-colored pitbull dogs.” He further speculated that the dogs had been bred for fighting.
The medical examiner’s office report indicates Stephens had defensive wounds on her hands and arms. However, the first traumatic injury inflicted on Stephens was to her throat and face, Agnew said.
“It appears she was taken to the ground, lost consciousness, and the dogs then mauled her to death,” he said. “It was an absolutely grisly 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.”
According to Agnew, the area where they found the victim’s body was covered in blood, and said that it took at least eight hours for investigators to collect over 60 pieces of evidence.
The dogs are being detained by Goochland Animal Control, and will most likely be euthanized.
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