Despite insistence from friends that Bethany Lynn Stephens was not killed by her dogs, police are certain there was no foul play involved in her death. Here’s the latest.
The Goochland, Virginia Country Sheriff has finally given new insight into the tragic death of Bethany Lynn Stephens, 22. Four days after the Virginia woman’s body was found, officials say they are almost certain she was, in fact, mauled to death by her pit bulls. When asked if it’s possible foul play was involved in this tragedy, Sheriff James Agnew explained, “We certainly don’t think so. We had a number of witnesses who came forward and we were able to put a time frame together and put people’s movements together, and they don’t fit with that particular narrative. Having said that, we are still following up on those. We’re still doing some forensic tests, we’re still trying to find out more. But from what we found on the scene, from the evidence we collected, that narrative [foul play] does not fit.”
Sheriff Agnew also explained that when officials were deciding the best way to go about capturing the dogs, they witnessed the animals go over to Bethany’s dead body and start eating her ribcage. “This was an absolutely gruesome scene,” he explained. “Ms. Stephens was terribly, terribly inured, but it was very apparent to us that she had been dead for quite some time.” He added that Bethany’s injuries were “very severe,” and that the medical examiner is certain a bigger, wild animal was not involved. “The bite wounds on her head did not penetrate her skull, they just left marks,” the Sheriff revealed.”If it were a larger animal, they would’ve at least punctured partway into the skull. There were also scratch marks that were consistent with a smaller animal.” He also confirmed that Bethany’s injuries were all consistent with bite marks, not any sort of a beating.
A friend of Bethany’s was able to come to the scene and capture the dogs, and they were put down on Dec. 16 after officials received permission from Bethany’s family. The 22-year-old’s father found her dead body in a wooded area on Dec. 14. However, after the discovery, Bethany’s friends came forward to explain that “those dogs would not attack her” because they’d always “kill you with kisses.” The attack has still not been fully confirmed, although police seem almost certain that Bethany was mauled to death by her pets. The investigation will continue, and a toxicology report is currently underway.
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