Investigation under way after woman found dead in backyard of Fallbrook home

Several large dogs rounded up by animal control

FALLBROOK, Calif. - An investigation was under way Monday into the death of a 30-year-old woman whose body was found in the backyard of a Fallbrook home along with several large dogs who had to be rounded up by animal control, authorities said.

Deputies were called to the home in the 1300 block of Calle Tecolotan just before 5:15 p.m. Sunday, according to San Diego County sheriff's Sgt. Brian Jenkins.

A woman who identified herself as the victim's cousin said she went to the home to check on her relative's welfare and found the body, the sergeant said in a statement.

Deputies had to call animal-control officers to secure a group of dogs, described as "Olde English Bulldogges." running loose in the yard.

Dispatchers described a chaotic scene.

"The RP [reporting party] is not able to contain all the dogs. There's not enough cages. It will be three dogs in cages and two are friendly and one has blood on their mouth," the dispatcher said.

Eight dogs were seized by the Department of Animal Services, police said.

The San Diego Medical Examiner's Office also was called to the home, according to Jenkins, who said the office determined there did not appear to be any criminal activity associated with the woman's death.

The dead woman's injuries were "consistent with" dog bites, Sgt. Victor Perry said. He added, however, that a cause-of-death ruling would remain on hold pending autopsy findings.

"It's a very tragic circumstance," Perry added. "I'm sorry that it happened… there's nothing really more I can say. It's a tragedy."

The victim had been house-sitting for the owners of the home while they were out of town, according to Jenkins. Her name was withheld pending family notification.

The county Animal Services Department impounded the dogs, agency spokesman Dan DeSousa said.

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