An elderly woman from Long Island was killed in a deadly attack by her family pit bull in Albertson on Wednesday afternoon, according to police. Police said the body of Marina Verriest, 70, was discovered by her 66-year-old husband in the backyard of their house after he returned home from the office around 1 pm.
Her body was mauled, mutilated, and dragged through the backyard of their home by the family pit bull. Verriest's husband called up the police, who arrived at the scene and shot dead the 7-year-old dog, while Verriest was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Nassau County Police and neighbors.
Although it's unclear when the assault started, authorities reported that when the husband got home, "the dog was still eating on the body." Seeing the gory scene, the husband phoned the police.
When an officer arrived at the scene, the dog turned and charged at the officer. The pit bull was then shot dead or he would have attacked others too. According to officials, the officer was brought to the hospital after being traumatized by what he had witnessed in the yard.
EMS arrived on the scene and declared the victim dead. Police described the scene as "horrific."
"The scene was pretty horrific. We don't know what time the attack took place but there was obviously a lot of mutilation on the body and the arm, the face, the legs," Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said at a press conference.
"The officer saw something that was very traumatic, we take care of our officers and make sure they're OK."
While pet lovers don't think much when choosing one, some breeds of dogs can be risky. Pit bull attacks aren't rare. Lately, several incidents of canines attacking their owners have been reported.
The pit bull belonged to the stepson of the couple, who had recently passed away in a motorcycle accident. Police believe that the dog had lived with the family its entire life and that the son had been residing at home, according to Ryder.
"We don't know what turned the dog or why the dog turned on the woman," he said. "There had been no previous domestic calls to the home or calls regarding the dog."
Investigators don't know how or why the dog attacked; However, there is no suspicion of criminal activity, and they assume the dog killed the woman.
The officer who shot the dog is a 15-year veteran and is in the hospital for an evaluation.