By holding a late night press conference on Monday, police in Virginia have released new disturbing details about the grisly death of a 22-year-old woman who was killed by her own dogs. In disclosing some of the most unsettling facts, they hope to put a stop to some of the conspiracy theories surrounding the case but social media is still active with people questioning the case. Here are some of the unsettling details that people have been trying to grasp.
1. She raised the dogs
Bethany Lynn Stephens raised the two dogs that police said mauled her to death. Photos on Facebook appear to show her with at least one of them as a puppy.
2. They weren’t fighting dogs
Police retracted initial statements that the two dogs were bred to fight. They were not fighting dogs.
3. They were neglected, according to police
"The dogs were a little bit neglected towards the end," Sergeant Mike Blackwood said, adding that the pit bulls lived with Stephens’ dad on his property, outside in the cold." She [Stephens] would come home maybe five times to her father's house a week on average and take the dogs out. And they became more isolated where the only contact they had was with each other and it was less and less human contact."
4. The dogs were eating her
Police witnessed the dogs eating her, while they discussed what to do with the animals, which were euthanized on Saturday.
"While we were thinking about strategies to catch the dogs, we had turned and looked, the dogs had gone back over to the body," said Sheriff Jim Agnew. "And I observed, along with four other deputy sheriffs observed, the dog eating the rib cage on the body. We were able to shoo them away."
5. Her dad made the initial discovery
He thought it was an animal carcass at first. On Thursday he went looking for his daughter. He found the two dogs near Stephens’ body, which they appeared to be “guarding,” according to WTVR.
6. Her friends suspect foul play
Stephens’ friends told WRIC that they are certain that her dogs would have never hurt her.
“I know those dogs didn’t do it,” Barbara Norris told the station. “Those dogs would not attack her.”
Norris told NBC affiliate WWBT that it looked like someone forced the pit bulls’ kennels open.
7. She was receiving death threats before she died
The young woman’s friends told media outlets that she had been the recipient of death threats. Police, however, said they are certain that there was no foul play and that Stephens was not attacked by a wild animal. In fact, their reasoning behind releasing gruesome details on Monday was to combat such rumors.