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Police: Woman found dead in her home was attacked by her Great Danes

An Incident Report filed by police says that a woman who was found dead in her home in Waynesville died after being attacked by her two dogs. (WKRC)
An Incident Report filed by police says that a woman who was found dead in her home in Waynesville died after being attacked by her two dogs. (WKRC)
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WAYNESVILLE, Ohio (WKRC) -- An incident report filed by police says that a woman who was found dead in her home in Waynesville, Ohio died after being attacked by her two dogs.

Police were originally dispatched on Nov. 1 to the home on a report of a possible overdose. 49-year-old Mary Matthews had reportedly been found laying on the bathroom floor, unresponsive. Her husband, Dale Mark Matthews, and son, Luke Matthews, met police in the driveway of the residence. Luke had picked up Dale from the Warren County Jail earlier that day and found Mary when they arrived at the home, according to the report.

Mary Matthews was covered in blood, appeared bloated and "not of good color" said police in the report. She wasn't breathing, she appeared rigid and her body appeared to have many cuts and puncture wounds on her lower half. Police also noted that a chunk of flesh was missing from near her ankle.

After examining her, police notified dispatch about the "obvious DOA (Dead on Arrival)" and shortly after a medical unit arrived on the scene, Mary Matthews was pronounced dead.

Police began investigating the home. They found bloodstains in many of the rooms and found a pair of torn up, bloodstained sweatpants in front of the living room couch. The couch had spots of blood and dog fur all over it. They also found a chunk of flesh on the couch.

Police make a point in their report to state that all around the residence, in the living room to the kitchen, were "numerous" beer cans that were sometimes piled into heaps. Police say that between the beer cans and the numerous medication bottles, there was no visible counter space due to the amount of debris. There were also bloody towels and blood on the floor of the kitchen.

Past the kitchen and through the dining room, there was a glass door that led outside to a deck area. On the deck were two large, but thin, Great Danes. One was black and the other was brown. Police say in the report that the deck was so covered in dog feces that the actual floor of the deck was not visible. There was also blood on the blinds covering the glass door that led to the deck.

Dale had told police that the black Great Dane is "vicious" and that it has bitten several people, including himself. Police say Dale had evidence of the bites on his forearm. Dale also said that he was able to fend off the dogs himself before, but if the dogs attacked his wife when she was alone then he thinks she wouldn't be able to protect herself.

The Warren County Jail verified to police that Dale Mark Matthews was incarcerated on Oct. 30, 2019 and was released on Nov. 1. Dale claims he tried to contact Mary to come pick him up from the jail, but she never answered his calls. Dale then called his son Luke, who picked him up and brought him to the home where they found Mary. Both Dale and Luke say that the dogs were on the deck when they arrived and that Dale only moved Mary slightly to check for a pulse. It has been confirmed that Dale Matthews was incarcerated on a warrant for failure to appear for child support at the time of the attack.

Chief Coroner Doyle Burke and two of his investigators arrived to further review the body and scene. Preliminary findings suggest Mary was attacked by her dogs, but she was able to get them outside. It is suggested that Mary perhaps didn't realize the extent of her injuries and thought that she could handle them on her own. Evidence suggests she changed clothes several times and also used towels to either clean up the blood in the home or from herself.

Police note in the report that there have been numerous calls to the home in the past and that it was "well known" that both Dale and Mary suffer from chronic alcoholism. Police say Dale also admitted Mary would routinely start her day by consuming prescription medications and drinking beer. Dale said that Mary would continue with this daily pattern until she would pass out.

Due to that history, police indicate Mary may not have been clear-minded enough to understand how severely she was wounded and therefore didn't call out for help.

Chief Dog Warden Nathan Harper was called to the scene to retrieve both of the dogs. Both dogs have been euthanized.

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The coroner will continue their investigation to determine an official cause of death.

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