Police in rural Virginia have released disturbing details about a woman who they say was killed by her two dogs while taking them for a walk last week.
Four days after Bethany Stephens, 22, was found, police held a second press conference to describe her death and refute rumours of foul play.
When deputies found the dogs on Friday they were guarding what police at first thought was an animal carcass.
But the body was Stephens’s, and police say the pit bulls were eating her.
Warning: Some people may find the details below upsetting
“I observed, as well as four other deputy sheriffs observed,” Goochland County Sheriff Jim Agnew said, “the dogs eating the rib cage on the body”.
“The first traumatic injury to her was to her throat and face,” he said.
“It appears she was taken to the ground, lost consciousness, and the dogs then mauled her to death,” he added, pausing several times.
Sheriff Agnew said in Monday’s press conference that he did not want to initially release the graphic detail, out of concern for the victim’s family.