Man questioned after saying dogs killed his wife

A 50-year-old North Philadelphia was found dead Tuesday night in her home in the 400 block of West Carey Street. (Bob Moran / Staff)
A 50-year-old North Philadelphia was found dead Tuesday night in her home in the 400 block of West Carey Street. (Bob Moran / Staff)
Posted: August 30, 2011

Homicide detectives are investigating the death Tuesday of a 50-year-old North Philadelphia woman, who, according to her husband, was killed by the couple's pit bulls.

The woman, whose name was not released, suffered "severe head and face injuries, and that appears to be the cause of death," said Chief Inspector Scott Small.

The manner of death, whether by attacking dogs or "man-made," will be determined by an autopsy Wednesday, Small said.

After an initial investigation in the home, the Medical Examiner's Office cannot say for sure, Small said.

The husband and another man were handcuffed and taken away to be questioned by detectives.

At 6:30 p.m., the husband called police and said he had come home from work and found his wife dead in the first-floor living room, Small said. The husband said his wife had been killed by their dogs, Small said.

The wife was pronounced dead in the rowhouse, in the 400 block of West Carey Street, at 6:44 p.m.

Animal-control officers removed five pit bulls from the house.

Small said that the crime scene was gruesome and that the house was "a mess," filthy, and reeking of dog urine.

Small said police had received preliminary information that the dogs had attacked neighbors in the past. He said "everyone on the block" would be questioned.

Gus Castro, 25, who lives across the street, said he was attacked on Friday when the dogs got loose in the neighborhood.

Castro showed reporters numerous bite wounds on his legs, arms, and hands.

He said that the dogs were known to be vicious and that they also attacked an elderly woman nearby, at Fifth Street and Erie Avenue.

Castro said animal-control officers had removed the dogs. "About three or four days later, they gave them back," he said.


Contact staff writer Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or bmoran@phillynews.com.

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