Evidence in the house indicated Mary Matthews was attacked on first floor and was able to force the dogs outside, “then basically bled to death,” Burke said.
Clearcreek Twp. police were called to the home by her husband about 2:24 p.m. for a possible drug overdose, according to jail and police records. He had been in jail for two days for failure to pay child support.
Mary Matthews was found in the bathroom near the front door. Blood was found in the garage, entryway into the house and laundry room, as well as in the bathroom and other parts of the house, according to an incident report.
The husband confirmed the black dog was “vicious” and indicated “if his wife was alone and they attacked, she would not have been able to defend herself because of her small stature,” Clearcreek Twp. Officer Wendy Blaha said in the report.
Matthews’ body was marked by numerous cuts and punctures, as well as a gouged left ankle. She was pronounced dead at 4:34 p.m., according to the police report.
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Neighbors reported being awoken at 3 a.m. by the “dogs barking and whining outside.”
“It appears that she was able to get them outside but perhaps didn’t recognize the extent of her injuries and felt she could handle things on her own,” Blaha added.
The dogs were found on an enclosed porch, according to Warren County Animal Warden Nathan Harper.
The dogs were turned over to the Warren County Dog Warden and were euthanized Saturday after the victim’s husband released them to the county.
The dogs are to be tested by the health department for rabies, Harper said.
Harper said his office had been called to the same home in 2018 for bites involving a different Great Dane, but not for incidents with the dogs involved in Friday’s fatal incident.
“These dogs had bitten them in the past, had bitten other people in the past,” Burke said.
Matthews’ cause of death was pending toxicology screening, but was apparently due to multiple dog bites, Burke said.