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Commissioner questions findings that Brenda Hamilton’s death is a result of dog attack

Forensic investigators say it was likely multiple dogs that attacked Hamilton
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 10:26 AM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Forensic investigators from the University of Florida have finished a report into the death of Beaufort County resident Brenda Hamilton.

Hamilton, a teacher at Pungo Christian Academy, was attacked by an animal on February 15, 2019 outside of Pantego. She was 77 years old.

According to a report from AnnMarie Clark with the University of Florida Forensic Program, the county requested to find out what type of animal attacked Hamilton. Clark say evidence suggested it was a domestic dog and there was no indication of a grey or red wolf, coyote or fox. It also suggests there was no bear or large cat, such as a bobcat or panther, involved.

Beaufort County Commissioner Hood Richardson says, “My opinion is it’s not a pack of domestic dogs because they sampled every dog in like a mile or mile and a half of that and the results say of all the dogs that we’re sampled none of them are the ones that attacked Brenda Hamilton.”

Clark says she did not find enough evidence to specifically include any particular dog, but was able to exclude several because of a lack of evidence. She could not determine if the dogs were pets or ferals.

Richardson doesn’t believe dogs are to blame because he says the scene back when she was attacked wasn’t secured. “If the samples were degraded and improperly collected to begin with you’re gonna get bad sample results and that is what has happened.”

Clark came to this conclusion based on physical blood splatter and DNA evidence. She believes it was likely multiple dogs that attacked Hamilton, and probably at least 50 pounds or heavier.

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