PANTEGO, N.C. (WNCT) — The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners was presented with information at Monday’s meeting that indicated a teacher who was killed in 2019 while she was on an early-morning walk died after domestic dogs attacked her.
Brenda Hamilton, 77, died on Feb. 15, 2019. A neighbor found Hamilton in a ditch submerged to her shoulders in water. She was suffering from several injuries and died three days later.
At the time of her attack, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Investigators along with North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Officers and a biologist responded to the scene to investigate what kind of animal attacked Hamilton. It was determined that no wild animals indigenous to the area were responsible.
Speculation arose as to the cause of her death with everything from wolves to other animals possibly attacking her. A committee was formed shortly after her death.
During Monday’s meeting, a report was presented by forensic investigators from the University of Florida. AnnMarie Clark said in the report evidence suggested it was a domestic dog that attacked her. There was no indication any other animal such as a wolf, coyote or fox was involved.
The Washington Daily News reported that Clark presented her findings in April. In the report, she said, “It is my opinion that Mrs. Hamilton was attacked by dogs, this based on the physical blood splatter and DNA evidence. Based on the DNA evidence, none of the dogs submitted was likely involved. Based on the amount of physical damage to Mrs. Hamilton, it was probably multiple dogs, probably at least 50 or more pounds.”
Hamilton had been a teacher in Beaufort County for 51 years at Pungo Christian Academy in Belhaven, not far from where she lived.