London dog walker mauled to death in Surrey named as 28-year-old Natasha Johnston

The London dog walker who was killed when her pack turned on her in a vicious attack has been named for the first time.

Natasha Johnston, 28, was believed to have been walking a number of dogs at beauty spot Gravelly Hill, in Caterham, when she was attacked on January 12.

She was named after Surrey Police closed their criminal investigation into the death without any charges being brought.

She was later pronounced dead at the scene.

A second woman was taken to hospital with dog bites and was later discharged.

“This is an extremely difficult time for us and as well as dealing with this sudden loss in our family, the significant level of media interest and the graphic nature of some of the reporting, has been a source of additional distress”, a family statement said.

“We continue to appeal for our privacy to be respected during our time of grief.”

Armed officers were scrambled to the scene along with the National Police Air Service, and seized eight dogs in total.

Police at the scene in Gravelly Hill in Caterham, Surrey (PA Wire)
Police at the scene in Gravelly Hill in Caterham, Surrey (PA Wire)

The dogs remain in police custody subject to forensic investigation, though no prosecutions are being brought against any individuals.

Surrey Police has confirmed none of the dogs were banned breeds.

A post mortem was carried out on the victim last week and a file is now being prepared for the Surrey coroner who is to open an inquest on Tuesday.

Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Josephine Horner said: “This is a tragic incident in which a young woman lost her life.

“I know it has caused real concern locally and I thank the community for bearing with us whilst we conducted our inquiries.

“The criminal investigation has now concluded and the information we have gathered will be passed to the Surrey coroner to assist in the coronial process.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

“The dogs continue to be cared for at private kennels to ensure their welfare and their owners are being kept informed.

“We appreciate this is a difficult and uncertain process for them as the forensic work continues.”

Local residents have expressed their shock at the incident.

One man living nearby said the area was very popular with dog walkers.

He said: “The dogs dispersed into different areas of the woods and the police helicopter was out looking for them.”

A female dog walker at the scene added: “It’s a nice circular woodland walk and we’ve never had any issues before. It is so shocking.”