Stephens' father went looking for her, and reportedly discovered her dogs standing watch over her body. According to police, the woman's father reported her missing and called 911 saying he hadn't seen his daughter in nearly two days.
Agnew said the dogs forced Stephens to the ground, becoming unconscious before being killed.
"They were big, strong, powerful dogs", Sheriff Agnew said.
"The victim had defensive marks on her hands and arms, trying to keep the dogs away from her, which would be consistent with being attacked while she was still alive", Agnew said.
It appears the first traumatic injury was to her throat and face. He estimated that each dog weighed about as much as Stephens - she was 5-foot-1 and weighed 125 pounds.
The territory where they found the casualty's body was canvassed in blood, Agnew stated, including that it took no less than eight hours for agents to gather more than 60 bits of confirmation. Agnew said they were seeking to have the animals euthanized. "I can't tell you if it was a blunt force or if it was a mauling, but I know those dogs didn't do it", Barbara Norris said.
Her father also said that it seemed that her pet dogs were "guarding" Bethany. He added, "In my 40 years of law enforcement I've never seen anything quite like it".
They were tranquilised at the scene and removed by animal control.
Norris said that the dogs' kennels appeared to have been broken open, as if the dogs had escaped to help Stephens. Local deputies found her dead body on Thursday around 8:20 p.m., according to the report of Richmond Times-Dispatch.
"(Her body) was being guarded by two very large, brindle-colored pit bull dogs", Sheriff James L. Agnew said during a news conference Friday.