Last week, a missing woman, 22-year-old Bethany Lynn Stephens, was found dead in the woods in Goochland County, Virginia, after being mauled to death by her two dogs.
WTVR reported that Stephens was walking her two pit bulls in the woods near an old family farm, an area they frequently walked through, when her two pit bulls turned on her and killed her.
She was reported missing when her father didn’t see her in over a day but called the police the next day to report that he found his daughter’s body in the woods. Stephens’s father said that the pit bulls appeared to be guarding Stephen’s body.
Goochland County Sheriff, James L. Agnew said that when police arrived at the scene, there was a lot of blood and pieces of torn clothing scattered about. According to WTVR, there were more than 60 pieces of evidence and it took them eight hours to collect it all.
It took deputies between 60 to 90 minutes to catch Stephens’s dogs, whom Agnew described as being reluctant to get caught. Just by looking at the large dogs, he made the assumption that the pit bulls were originally bred for fighting.
Stephens’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office, and based on the autopsy report, Agnew ruled out homicide as cause of death:
“It appears the attack was a violent attack initiated by the victim’s dogs while the victim was out for a walk with the dogs. 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. It appears that the first traumatic injury to her was to her throat and face area. It appears she was taken to the ground, lost consciousness and the dogs then mauled her to death … The victim had puncture wounds in the skull and this was not a homicide.”
“It was an absolutely grisly mauling. In my nearly 40 years in law enforcement, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I hope I never see anything like it again.”
Stephens’s pit bulls are now held by Goochland Animal Control and will likely be euthanized.
You can see WTVR’s report below.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.