A gruesome story of a Virginia woman who was mauled by her own dogs and killed is taking an "unprecedented" turn as law enforcement officials try to tamp down conspiracy theories on social media.
What did they do?
According to local news media, reporters were allowed to see very gruesome evidence from the attack showing just how vicious the mauling was. They also allowed information be released that they otherwise would have kept private for the sake of the family.
“Let me cut right to the chase, the most important detail that we did not release because we were worried about the well-being of the family is that in the course of trying to capture the dogs early Friday morning... we turned and looked... I observed, as well as four other deputy sheriffs, the dogs eating the ribcage on the body,” Goochland County Sheriff James Agnew said at a news conference.
"The injuries were very severe," he added.
What were people saying about the case?
Some on social media were doubting that the dogs mauled their owner, and were accusing the police of looking for simple answers when they theorized a killer was on the loose.
The statement from Sheriff Agnew was intended to provide further evidence that it was the dogs that committed the killing, and not any other animal, or a human being.
Here's a video of law enforcement shooting down these theories:
The body of the 22-year-old Bethany Lynn Stephens was discovered after her parents noticed that she hadn't returned from taking her dogs on a walk. The police found the gruesome remains, and said that they saw enough evidence to prove the dogs had mauled her.
The dogs have since been euthanized.