One of the Pit Bulls that Mauled Woman Had History of Aggression, Police Say

December 24, 2017 1:44 pm Last Updated: December 24, 2017 3:31 pm

One of the pit bulls that mauled 22-year-old Bethany Lynn Stephens to death had a history of aggression, according to a report.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Goochland County Sheriff James Agnew said the pit bull—named Pacman—was adopted and returned due to troubling behavior.

“She became pregnant and the dog snapped at her a couple of times, and she got concerned and returned the dog,” Agnew told the paper of the previous owner.

Officials think Stephens was killed by her two pit bulls while she was walking in Goochland County, Virginia, last week.

Agnew added that the two pit bulls were euthanized after her family gave officials permission to do so. Their bodies are being preserved as the investigation persists, the report said.

“We have a lot of other things to follow up on and confirm,” Agnew added. “So, everything that we have found so far, you know, is another piece to try to explain what happened. We’re still looking, interviewing and following things up.”

Stephens, 22, was found dead in a wooded area last week at around 8:20 p.m. local time off Manakin Road, Goochland, Virginia, according to local broadcaster WTVR. Her father had called 911 after 8 p.m. to report that he found her in the woods.

Deputies who responded to the incident described a grisly scene, saying the dogs were eating her, a local sheriff said.

Police say Bethany Lynn Stephens was mauled to death by her dogs while walking in the woods on Thursday, Dec. 14, in Goochland County.(Screenshot via Facebook / Bethany Lynn Stephens)

“Let me cut right to the chase, the most important detail that we did not release because we were worried 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…I observed, as well as four other deputy sheriffs, the dogs eating the ribcage on the body,” Agnew said Monday.

“The injuries were very severe,” the sheriff added. “The most prevalent damage…the damage was so extensive [on the body] that there was nothing left to compare the bite marks to.”

A friend, Barbara Norris, told WWBT in Richmond that it’s unexpected that her dogs would attack Stephens.

She said, “Those dogs would not attack her. They’d kill you with kisses … I can’t tell you if it was a blunt force or if it was a mauling, but I know those dogs didn’t do it… The only time they got aggressive is if they thought there was a threat going towards her.”