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Police: Dogs May Have Mauled Elderly Woman

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Three dogs were removed from a southwest Miami-Dade home where the body of an elderly woman was found Tuesday afternoon.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue were called to the home at 9415 SW 18th Terrace around 4 p.m. and found 91-year-old Carmen Reigada unresponsive and suffering from a dog bite.

Authorities tell CBS4 that Reigada had bites on her face and head.

The victim's next-door neighbor and friend told CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "It's incredible how this happened. We just don't know how this happened. She was an excellent nice lady and was very caring and was very family oriented. I have been here more than 20 years and the people here are excellent caring people."

Miami-Dade Animal Services were called in to remove three dogs from the home; an American bull-dog, a Rhodesian ridgeback and a Labrador mix. All of them belong to Reigada's grandson and had never been violent before.

A spokeswoman for Miami-Dade Animal Services said the department had no history of problems with any of the three dogs.

The woman was taken to Kendall Regional Hospital where she died. Investigators have not confirmed if the dog bite was the cause of her death or if it was from her age.  Detectives are waiting for Medical Examiner's to determine cause of death.

"I feel very bad. I love the lady. I'm so sorry," said neighbor Isabel Ojeda.

The dogs found at the home live there and police said it's not clear if all of them or one bit her.

"The dogs know the lady so I don't know why that happened," said Ojeda.

Ojeda told D'Oench, "I used to go over to the woman's home all the time and spend an hour. What happened is horrible. It is horrible.It is tragic."

Neighbor Grant Adams said, "It's tragic. It's sad."

Police said another person lives in the home, but they don't know if they were home at the time of the attack.

Neighbors said the victim's son was inside the home at the time but could not save his mother.

CBS4 tried to speak with people at the house. One man was seen darting from the home to a waiting car that took off. And a man inside the home said through the front door, "Thank you for considering us in our grieving. Goodbye."

"Does anyone want to say anything about what happened?" he was asked.

"No sir. Nothing at all," he replied.

Miami-Dade Animal Services said all three dogs had been impounded and were being kept at a shelter.

Miami-Dade Police say it's not known if any of the dogs will be euthanized because it was not clear how Reigada died.

Miami-Dade Police Detective Jennifer Capote said, "They're going to look at every aspect of this case but we are being told they are family dogs. So there's the possibility that they were her dogs. Who knows what could have been happening at the house, if they were fed or not fed. This is all going to come out as a result of the investigation."


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