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Man Tried to Fight Off Wild Dogs That Killed Wife Before Succumbing to Attack

(istockphoto.com)
LEXINGTON, Georgia (AP) A woman killed by a pack of wild dogs had been out for a walk when she was attacked, and her husband died trying to fight off the mauling animals when he discovered the bloody scene near their rural Georgia home, authorities said Tuesday.

Preliminary autopsy results showed retired college professor Lothar Karl Schweder and his wife Sherry died from multiple animal bites.

Authorities rounded up about 11 dogs Monday and returned to the area Tuesday to find four more spotted by a deputy. The dogs were being held by animal control officials while authorities decide what to do with them, said Jim Fullington, special agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

"It just appears that a large number of dogs had started living, running together, multiplying and had grown into what I would describe as a pack of wild or feral-type dogs," Fullington said.

Sherry Schweder, 65, had told one of her sons that there were several dogs wandering the neighbourhood that no one seemed to be caring for, Fullington said.

Authorities said it appeared Sherry Schweder was attacked by the pack of dogs during a Friday evening walk near her home. Authorities believe her husband later went looking for her in the family car.

Investigators found Sherry Schweder's bloody shirt underneath the car, which was about six to eight feet from her body, said Madison County Coroner James Mathews.

Lothar Schweder, 77, was then attacked and apparently struggled with the dogs, Mathews said. His body was found on the other side of the dirt road, about 16 to 18 feet from his wife's body.

Evidence indicates Lothar Schweder put up a fight and may have tried to pull out a cellphone before he was overtaken, Mathews said.

Authorities said they interviewed a man at a house down the street where several dogs were staying. Fullington said the man was not staying at the house full time.

Fullington could not say whether anyone would face charges, citing the ongoing investigation.

A family friend told the Athens Banner-Herald that Lothar Karl Schweder was a retired professor who had taught German at the University of Georgia, which is about 20 miles away in Athens. German Department head Martin Kagel did not know of Schweder but said it might be possible he worked there part time or more than 20 years ago.

Sherry Schweder was a bibliographer at the university's library, where she had worked since 1974, selecting books and journals for the school's humanities collection, said librarian William Potter.
  • Ryan Smith

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