A mother of four has been mauled to death by a pack of dogs, prompting a police investigation.
Authorities in the US state of Alabama revealed Ruthie Mae Brown, 36, was killed by a pack of five dogs on Monday (local time).
The incident happened on Monday afternoon in the small town of Nauvoo, with a population of just over 200 people according to the last census.
Police said Ms Brown was dead when they arrived on the scene.
Residents told a local ABC affiliate people who lived in the area for years knew about the dog pack that reportedly roams the neighbourhood.
“It is really scary,” resident Robin Johnson said, adding: “I’ve seen them actually attack a deer.”
Ms Johnson told ABC 33/40 about the time she encountered the dogs.
“I actually had a stick in my hand which I know the owner’s name and I would call the owner’s name and they would back off,” Ms Johnson said.
“They're really aggressive dogs. They were very aggressive. If I wouldn't have known the owner's name it probably would have happened to me.”
It was unclear exactly what happened, but authorities indicated at least five dogs were involved in Ms Brown’s death.
“The woman was the victim of an attack from several dogs. Some of the dogs have been captured,” Walker County Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook as it sought information from the public.
Sheriff Nick Smith said the owner of two of the animals claimed them and both will be turned over to the Humane Society. Officers were trying to capture at least three other dogs after the attack, The Associated Press reported.
Officials from the Walker County Sheriff's Office said it was the most horrific dog attack they had seen in the area.
The district attorney’s office will determine whether there’s evidence to file any charges.
On Facebook, a number of locals called for stricter rules for pet owners and stray animals.
“The owner everyone keeps talking about, should be held accountable for every bit of this! I cannot imagine what that poor woman went through in her last moments. This is terrifying! There are tons of loose dogs around my house,” one woman complained.
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