Dayton animal lover mauled to death by 2 dogs

DAYTON, Ohio — An Ohio woman known for her love of cats was found in front of her home Friday fatally mauled by two neighborhood dogs.

The body of Klonda Richey, 57, was naked on the sidewalk in front of the house in Dayton when police officers found her following the attack by two mixed-breed  animals, according to a report from WCPO media partner WHIO-TV .

First responding officers, who said Richey's coat was torn off, were forced to kill the male dogs after they charged at them.

An autopsy was performed Saturday but officials with the Montgomery County Coroner's Office did not release a preliminary cause of the woman's death. They said her body is being held for further testing and more information will be released Monday.

Richey's next-door neighbors -- 28-year-old Andrew Nason and 23-year-old Julie Custer -- were taken into custody Friday and are being held pending a formal charge of reckless homicide.

Additional details about the attack were not released.

Those who knew Richey described their friend and colleague as a caring and artistic person with a friendly, bubbly personality, according to the WHIO report. They also spoke about the tragic irony of the way she was killed.

"It's so ironic that this devout animal lover would be killed by animals in such a brutal, aggressive way," said Ann Stevens who worked with Richey for 16 years at the Montgomery County Job & Family Services Administration Services Division.

"Every conversation I had with Klonda included cats — she was very passionate about animals and their well being and because of that she always had a special place in my heart."

The outside of Richey's white clapboard home on Bruce Avenue features a decorative welcome sign and mailbox that reflected her love of animals, especially her 20 cats, Stevens told WHIO.

Friends also described Richey as some who was actively involved local politics, including spending time as a volunteer for the Montgomery County Republican party where she used to work alongside the organization's former chairman, Rob Scott.

Scott said he heard about the death on the radio Friday morning but it wasn't until later that night during WHIO's newscast that he learned the victim was his friend.

"I looked up and couldn't believe it, I was shocked," said Scott, who first met Richie on the day he became chairman of the regional political branch in April 2012.

"She was always smiling and upbeat and positive, I never heard her say one negative thing about anyone," he said. "She always looked on the positive side of life."

 

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