Florida man mauled to death by pack of dogs

by Kim Boateng Posted on July 7th, 2019

Melvin Olds Jr, a Florida man was found dead with more than 100 dog bites on his, and an autopsy confirmed he died from injuries caused by the attack.

Melvin Olds Jr., 45, was found in a wooded area behind a residence south of Lake Placid — about 100 miles south of Orlando — shortly before noon on the Fourth of July, the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. He was last seen alive a few hours earlier and had taken a shortcut to his home.

Independent investigations by the Sheriff’s Office, a medical examiner and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission determined the preliminary cause of death.

His wounds were only caused by dogs butes, according to the autopsy conducted Friday.

Final determination will be made after toxicology reports are completed in several weeks.

Six dogs of unspecified breed have been captured in the area and their bite size matches the wounds on Olds’ body. DNA from those dogs will be compared with DNA collected from the wounds.

“While we may have the dogs that were responsible for this horrible tragedy, we won’t know for sure for a while,” Sheriff Paul Blackman said in the Facebook post. “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.”

Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services officers have set traps in the area and Animal Services units have been patrolling the area looking for loose dogs.

“I thought a dog was a man’s best friend,” said Cynthia Hill, Olds’ mother, told WFLA-TV. “He was a good person, a good man. Just so hurt, deeply because it’s so unexpected.”

Jannell Ward, the victim’s fiance, said she saw a pack of dogs in their neighborhood.

“They growled a couple times but they never ran up to me,” she told WLA-TV. “They never came at me or insinuated that they were going to bite me. I never got that feeling.”

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