Mauled by dogs: Sheriff offers gruesome details to end speculation

Dogs responsible for killing Goochland woman have been euthanized

Reports of the 22-year-old woman's death have been met with scrutiny and skepticism about the likelihood that her beloved dogs would turn on her. Bethany's friends told WRIC that she had been getting death threats, and that they didn't believe the dogs alone were responsible for her death.

Stephens' body was discovered by her father Thursday evening in a wooded area of Goochland.

Told Agnew via Pix 11, 'Let me cut right to the chase, the most important detail that we did not release because we were anxious about the well-being of the family is that in the course of trying to capture the dogs early Friday morning, we turned and looked...

A man who used to work with Stephens at a dog training facility told said she was very experienced working with animals, and loved her dogs. When deputies found her body, they said she had suffered "severe trauma" and was being guarded by the two 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", he said.

"Ms. Stephens was terribly, terribly injured, but it was very apparent to us that she had been dead for quite some time", Agnew told reporters, adding later that the damage to her body "was so extensive that there was nothing left to compare bite marks to".

The sheriff added that both animals were still attacking the deceased victim when the officers arrived on scene.

Agnew also ruled out suggestions that she could have been killed by a bear or coyote. They have since been put down with the family's permission. Nothing that said she was stabbed.

Investigators had also spoken to witnesses and people known to Stephens, and 'people's movements... don't fit with that particular narrative'. No bones, no injuries to the throat area.

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Sergeant Mike Blackwood said that multiple police departments contacted their office over the weekend to share information on similar attacks. "None of that", Whitlock told reporters.

Veterinary experts have also said that it's is extremely rare for a dog to just attack at random. "And they became more isolated where the only contact they had was with each other and it was less and less human contact".

Everyone has said the dogs were socialized, passive and had a significant bond with Stephens.

"While we were thinking about strategies to catch the dogs, we had turned and looked, the dogs had gone back over to the body", said Sheriff Jim Agnew.

The 22-year-old left her pets with her dad because she was going through personal events, friends said.

"I think it was in the best interest of our community and for public safety to do that", Agnew said. "They are dealing with trying to piece everything together". "Once a dog tastes human flesh it is not safe to have that dog around humans".

The toxicology report on Stephens will be complete in about 90 days.

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.

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