Woman killed by pit bulls outside her home

John Saylor
John Saylor

26 December, 2017

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

The Bell County Sheriff's Department says it received a call at 10:20 a.m. reporting the attack on Highway 66 in the Wiser Branch area of Arjay. Her husband Johnny Saylor found her in front of their house after he had been attacked by the two dogs.

The statement says the man was able to shoot both dogs, killing one of them, while the other dog ran off. Deputies determined the two dogs did not belong to the couple. Johnny Saylor retrieved a.22-caliber pistol from inside his house and went back outside, where he shot one of the dogs in the chest as it jumped at him. The other dog escaped, and the Bell County Sheriff's Department is now searching for it. The other pit bull ran off.

Authorities said 42-year-old Johnny Dale Lankford was already behind bars at the Bell County Detention Center for a different incident that saw him charged with Second Degree Assault, domestic violence and unlawful imprisonment on a $25,000 bond.

Lorraine Saylor was pronounced scene and her husband was transported to Pineville Community Hospital with arm and head injuries.

"I'd seen them, but I didn't think they'd be mean like that", James Saylor said.

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"Under no circumstances are you to engage this unsafe animal", the department said on Facebook.

Lankford's two dogs which attacked the woman.

In that instance, their owner had left them with their dad while she took care of personal issues.

The victims' will be released after their family is notified, investigators said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

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