SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A woman whose bloodied body was found behind a North County house along with eight bulldogs last weekend was fatally mauled by one or more of the canines, authorities confirmed Wednesday.
The 30-year-old victim, who had been hired to clean the home in the 1300 block of Calle Tecolotlan in Fallbrook while the residents were out of town, was found dead about 5:15 p.m. Sunday by a cousin arriving to give her a ride home, sheriff's Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said.
Deputies had to call animal control officers to secure the sizable animals, which were running loose in the yard.
An autopsy determined that the victim, whose name was being withheld pending family notification, died of "penetrating, mauling and blunt-force injuries" inflicted by at least one of the dogs, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.
The county Department of Animal Services took custody of the canines and will "continue the investigation to determine whether ... any criminal charges will be filed against the homeowners," Giannantonio said.
The muscular, strong-framed dogs, one of which weighs more than 100 pounds, were being held at a pound in Carlsbad, according to DAS spokesman Dan DeSousa. The one or ones that are found to have attacked the victim will be deemed non-adoptable and euthanized, he said.
"We have to ensure the safety of the public," DeSousa said.
While deputies were checking to make sure no one else had been injured by the animals, they found two dozen live marijuana plants in a rear bedroom of the home, the sheriff's lieutenant said.
Investigators with the San Diego County Narcotics Task Force were called in to impound the cannabis and determine who was responsible for its presence in the residence.