HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Elaine Richman loved her dogs, but her Dobermans may be what caused her death.
When crime scene investigators began showing up at her home last Friday, neighbors knew something was terribly wrong.
Well known for her love of Dobermans, Richman was raising two dogs, one male and one female.
"They were purebred Dobermans, beautiful dogs," said a neighbor. "She did training with them. They were show dogs."
Tragically, Richman was found dead in her backyard with bite marks over her face and body.
The two Dobermans were confiscated by authorities. They are currently being held at the City of Houston's Animal Control, pending the outcome of a Houston police criminal investigation.
"She actually has a closeness to Dobermans and she spent a big part of her life training and showing the dogs," said Elaine's brother Bruce Richman. "It takes a special person to be very kind to animals, which she was. All of her brothers and sisters were shocked and surprised. We'll miss her greatly."
Family and neighbors say Elaine Richman trained dogs for decades without incident. She was well known in Houston's Doberman community.
However, Richman's relationship with other Doberman owners was strained after she was forced out as treasurer of the local organization following a financial probe.
After her death, a number of Doberman owners contacted by ABC13 were reluctant to talk about Richman. They wanted to focus on the Dobermans, not wanting one tragic death to impact the perception of the dogs.
There is no doubt that Richman loved her dogs, and believed they were truly her best friends.
"The dogs were very, very special to her. She was very, very good to the dogs," Bruce said.