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from The Santa Fe New Mexican


Arroyo Hondo woman died of bites

January 12, 2002

ARROYO HONDO - The state Office of the Medical Investigator ruled Friday that an Arroyo Hondo woman died of bite wounds, and state police believe she was bitten by a wolf-German shepherd hybrid owned by her son.

Diane Rhodes' son, Kelly Richardson, found her body in her driveway shortly after noon Wednesday. Tim Stepetic, a spokesman for the OMI in Albuquerque, said an autopsy found the 61-year-old woman died of "multiple bites to the neck and extremities."

The office ruled the death an accident.

The reddish-brown wolf hybrid had blood on its face Wednesday, state police criminal agent Miguel Aguilar said Thursday.

However, Aguilar said authorities have not ruled out that another dog could have attacked Rhodes. The woman might have died after trying to break up a fight between the hybrid and another dog, said state police Sgt. Freddie Trujillo.

Richardson lives in a mobile home next door to his mother's home, and they each owned several dogs. None of the other dogs was injured or appeared to have blood on them, Aguilar said.

©Santa Fe New Mexican 2002

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