A Florida father-of-five who was found dead with more than 100 bites marks on his body was killed by dogs, an autopsy has found.
Melvin Olds Jr., 45, suffered the fatal wounds on Independence Day in a wooded area behind a home south of Lake Placid.
Highlands County Sheriff’s Office believes a pack of stray dogs could have been responsible for his death.
No other injuries apart from the 100 dog bites were found on his body during an autopsy.
Six pit bull mixes were captured after officers set traps and animal services patrolled the nearby wooded area.
While the ‘bite sizes’ of the animals held by authorities match the marks on Olds’ body, DNA tests are yet to confirm they killed him.
Sheriff Paul Blackman said: ‘While we may have the dogs that were responsible for this horrible tragedy, we won’t know for sure for a while.
‘I want to encourage residents of Highway Park and the surrounding area to be on the lookout for any loose dogs, especially those that seem aggressive.
‘We don’t want anyone else to be injured.’
Olds’ was taking a shortcut through the woods while walking home just before the attack and was seen alive a few hours before, WFLA reports.
His mother Cynthia Hill told the station: ‘I thought a dog was a man’s best friend.
‘He was a good person, a good man. Just so hurt, deeply because it’s so unexpected.’
Olds’ fiance Jannell Ward said that she had seen dogs hanging out in the neighborhood a couple of times before.
She told WFLA that they had growled at her in the past, but never tried to approach her.
‘They never came at me or insinuated that they were going to bite me. I never got that feeling,’ Ward said.
Since the death of Melvin Olds Jr., known by the family as ‘JJ’, his mother has set up a fundraising page in a bid to help cover funeral expenses.
Currently, deputies are trying to confirm the ownership of the dogs, in what has been described as a ‘rare’ incident.
‘We do work bite cases,’ said Lieutenant Clay Kinslow of the Highlands County Sherrif’s Office.
‘[But] as far as a pack of dogs that attacked somebody, we don’t have many of those cases honestly.
‘When dogs get in packs, you never know what’s going to happen.’
Anyone who spots loose dogs in the area is advised not to approach them and to contact Highlands County Sheriff’s Office at 863-402-7200.
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