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Woman, 84, killed in pit bull attack in south Charlotte

A person is dead after an animal attack in south Charlotte, according to medical officials.
A person is dead after an animal attack in south Charlotte, according to medical officials. WBTV

An 84-year-old woman was mauled to death by two pitbulls in south Charlotte Monday afternoon, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

Investigators identified the woman as Bessie Flowers.

Flowers was apparently visiting a younger relative in a townhouse on Luke Crossing Drive in the Springs Valley subdivision near the Arboretum shopping center.

CMPD Animal Care & Control officers responded to a call about an aggressive animal just before 1 p.m. When they arrived, they found Flowers with fatal dog bite injuries.

Paramedics pronounced her dead a short time later.

The attack happened while Flowers’ family was at home.

In a statement, police said animal control officers had come out to the house in April 2013 “in reference to a complaint of two aggressive animals.” That call was unsubstantiated, police said.

“The female is not a stranger or third party just walking down the street. This actually occurred at a family home,” Captain Todd Lontz told reporters at the scene, according to WBTV, the Observer’s news partner. “The dogs that are involved in this are actually family dogs.”

A neighbor who declined to give her name said the woman who lives at the home where the mauling occurred had lived in the community for several years and at one point had served on the community’s homeowners association.

The woman could be seen walking her two pitbulls – a male and a female – in the neighborhood and a nearby office park, two leashes held in one hand.

“I’ve never seen them be aggressive,” the neighbor said of the dogs. “I’d always see them on leashes, always with their owner. Sometimes they’d bark at my dog, but she’d just bark back.”

Flowers’ death remained under investigation late Monday. The dogs were properly licensed and vaccinated. They will be quarantined for 10 days, and then continue to be held for the duration of the investigation.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.: 704-358-5046, @CleveWootson

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