Butte County Sheriff's detectives are awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine how 57-year-old Maria Torres died. Deputies went to her home just outside Gridley after she did not show up for work on Tuesday.
Her body was found with wounds consistent with a dog attack. In her home were her two pit bull terriers. At first detectives believed she may have been trying to break up a fight between her dogs.
“The pit bulls had injuries themselves, indicating they had been in a confrontation, in a fight with one another," said sheriff's spokesperson Miranda Bowersox.
They later said there could be other circumstances that could have caused her death.
"We have not ruled out that perhaps the death was from natural causes, and the injuries to her body happened after death," said Bowersox.
The results of an autopsy is key in determining what happened. It's too late for her dogs.
Butte County officials said that Torres' daughter requested that the dogs be euthanized, and that has been done.
They described both male dogs as medium sized and that one was 3-years-old and the other 5-years-old. Both were licensed and vaccinated, but neither was neutered.
While foul-play has not been entirely ruled out, the sheriff's office believes it's likely an accidental death.