Bethany Lynn Stephens had been gone for about a day since she left to walk her dogs.
"It appeared the attack was a violent attack initiated by the victims' dogs while the victim was out for a walk with the dogs", James Agnew, the local sheriff in Goochland County, told Fox2.
The Sheriff says it appears the young woman had plenty of defensive wounds, meaning she desperately tried to fend off the dogs before her death.
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Deputies say they found the dogs guarding the woman's body when they arrived.
"Either something frightened them or there was an altercation between the two dogs that [Stephens] happened to be in the middle of", Paul added.
Pike said, "Dogs that are bred to fight are actually trained not to redirect to people because it has to be very safe for the handler to be able to get in there and pull the dogs apart after the fight is over". Barbara Norris, described as Stephens' best friend, told WRIC that she didn't believe the dogs would harm Stephens. And while Norris said she did not know the details of Stephens' death, "I know those dogs didn't do it". Learn asked. "Were they being attacked by somebody, were they trying to defend themselves and their owner from somebody else, from a wild animal?"
And according to WIRC, it also took some time for animal control to tranquilize the two pit bulls, who weighed between 100 and 120 pounds. If this is truly the case, how could these loving pit bulls have attacked their owner so viciously?
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"It was an absolutely grisly mauling".
He spotted her but thought she was simply hurt. "In my 40 years of law enforcement, I've never seen anything like it. When we looked at the kennels, they looked like they had been broken open and went to go help her".
"It appears she was taken to the ground, lost consciousness, and the dogs then mauled her to death", Sheriff Agnew said of the Medical Examiner's initial report indications.
There were no signs of strangulation, leading Agnew to say Stephens probably wasn't killed in a homicide, according to WTVR.
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The dogs are now held at Goochland Animal Control and the Sheriff's Office said it is seeking to have them both euthanized.