A woman who went on a routine walk in her North Carolina lakefront neighborhood on Thursday never returned home, officials said.
The 66-year-old woman is believed to have been attacked and killed by two pit bull dogs in her Lake Tillery subdivision, Montgomery County Sheriff Chris Watkins said in a press release on Friday.
“This is a very tragic event, which has deeply affected the family, friends, deputies and first responders,” Waktins said in the release. “Our thoughts and prayers are being extended to all.”
After the woman’s husband and others searched the area unsuccessfully, they called officials, who located her on an unused road in the neighborhood, the statement said.
An investigation involving medical and animal and wildlife officials determined the woman was attacked by dogs, Watkins said in the release. Officials then “searched the neighborhood and located two pit bull dogs with physical evidence reflecting the dog’s involvement,” the statement said.
“The owner agreed for the dogs to be euthanized so they could be forensically examined to see if they suffered from rabies,” Watkins said in an interview with The News & Observer on Saturday. Medical examiners also wanted to study the animals’ jaw sizes, Watkins said.
The woman’s body was sent to Raleigh for an autopsy, according to the press release.
Watkins said as of Saturday the case remained a death investigation and not a criminal investigation.