Investigators identify the victim as Linda Oliver, 63. Friends say she loved her animals, and that she apparently died protecting one of them. Now neighbors, many of them in mourning, think they've spotted the dog that attacked her in the area near her home.
Eyewitness Joe Solis said, "I just can't believe it, that he turned on her like that."
Investigators say Oliver had just saved a smaller dog from being attacked by a larger dog when it turned on her. Deputies say it was a stray the victim and her husband had just taken in a few weeks ago. Neighbor Joe Solis saw it as deputies tried to capture it.
He said, "When I heard the gun shots that scared me a little bit. That's when I saw the dog running that way and they were trying to put the dog down."
Deputies say they responded after the victim called her husband at work. She sounded weak and said she'd been bitten. Then the phone cut off.
The husband called the sheriff's office, which responded and found a large dog in the yard, acting aggressively, with what appeared to be blood on its face. They shot it at least twice after it came at them. It ran, scurried under a fence, and got away.
"I watched it from my door," said eyewitness Kendra Kimmons. "I watched it start struggling, so I ran out there because I thought it was struggling. That's when the deputy told me to get away."
Deputies say those living in the area should not approach the dog if they see it.
Captain Ken Defoor with the Liberty County Sheriff's Office, said, "We're searching for the dog now and we're asking the public to be on the lookout for this dog. If you have children or small animals, bring them in the house."
The dog is described by authorities as possibly a large mastiff-Rottweiler mix, with longer black fur. It has white on its chest. If you see a dog fitting this description, the Liberty County Sheriff's Office asks that you call them or 911.
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