Police: Virginia woman mauled to death by her pit bulls

GOOCHLAND, Va. (AP) — Police say a Glen Allen, Virginia, woman was mauled to death by her two pit bulls.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Bethany Lynn Stephens’ body was found by Goochland County deputies around 8:18 p.m. Thursday in a wooded area.

Goodland County Sheriff James Agnew says her body was being guarded by two very large pit bulls.

“It was an absolutely grisly mauling. In my 40 years of law enforcement, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Hope I’d never see anything like it again,” Agnew said in a press conference.

Initial reports from the medical examiner’s office said Stephens had a cause of death “consistent with being mauled by these dogs.”

She had defensive wounds on her hands and arms. Agnew says it took deputies hours to wrangle the dogs, which he estimated weighed as much as Stephens.

However, Stephens’ best friend, Barbara Norris, claims the dogs would never turn on their owner. She believes the sheriff’s account of what happened doesn’t add up.

“Those dogs would not attack her,” Norris told WWBT. “They’d kill you with kisses.”

The dogs are being held at Goochland County Animal Control. Agnew said they were seeking to have the animals euthanized.

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