Okla. Woman Was Fatally Mauled by Dogs, Police Initially Thought She'd Been Stabbed to Death

Authorities say Anita Mears' dog was also injured in Sunday's attack

Anita Mears
Anita Mears. Photo: Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

An Oklahoma woman who detectives had suspected was murdered in her front yard was actually mauled to death by dogs, officials revealed Tuesday.

Anita Mears, 61, was discovered dead just after noon on Sunday.

When investigators from the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office arrived at the Newalla woman's home, "Ms. Mears had injuries consistent with being stabbed multiple times," reads a statement.

But the results of an autopsy, conducted by the Oklahoma County Medical Examiner's Office, showed that Mears wasn't stabbed to death. Instead, it was determined "that Ms. Mears was attacked by multiple dogs," reads the sheriff's statement.

According to officials, the victim's dog was "standing guard" over her body when deputies arrived at the scene.

The dog was also injured in the attack, trying to defend Mears.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

"As for the dogs that attacked Ms. Mears, we don't know whether they are wild dogs or neighborhood dogs, and because there were no witnesses, we may never know," the statement acknowledges. "We are warning folks to stay away from any packs of dogs that may be roaming the area."

The statement concludes: "Our prayers are with Ms. Mears family as they work to cope with this tragedy."

Attempts to reach Mears' relatives for comment was unsuccessful Wednesday.

Related Articles