Bethany Lynn Stephens was mauled to death by her pet pit bulls while taking them out for a walk, and now police have offered gruesome new details about her killing.
The 22-year-old Virginia woman had gone missing after taking her two pets for a walk, prompting family members to grow worried and call the police. Bethany’s father also went looking for her in an area where Bethany was known to take walks and made a horrific discovery — her mangled body on the ground, still guarded by the two dogs.
Police arrived and found that Bethany was already dead, and it took more than an hour for them to wrangle the dogs away from her body.
As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, police said they believed that the wounds Bethany suffered were consistent with a pit bull attack, including serious injuries to her face and throat. But in the wake of her death, some family members believed that Bethany Lynn Stephens may have been the victim of foul play, noting that the dogs had never been known to be violent or aggressive.
Police this week said there is no evidence pointing to foul play.
“We certainly don’t think so,” said Goochland County Sheriff James Agnew (via Hollywood Life). “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.”
To support the claim that Bethany Lynn Stephens was killed by her dogs, Agnew offered a new gruesome detail from the scene of her death. He noted that in the close to one hour it took for police to capture the dogs, they were seen approaching Bethany’s dead body and eating her ribcage.
Agnew added that the bite and wound marks on Bethany’s body could not have been made by a larger animal like a bear, as the bites on her skull did not penetrate into the bone. Instead, the marks looked consistent with an attack from a pit bull.
Police are still investigating the death of Bethany Lynn Stephens but said they are confident that her death was caused by her pet pit bulls. The animals will reportedly be euthanized.