The medical examiner ruled that Carol Streit, 65, died of a heart attack.
UPDATE 12/21/23: Despite the grisly details about this death, including the victim's left arm being "skin and bones," her right hand missing, found wearing only a bra, her pants pulled below her waist and blood-stained clothing found in a nearby field, the Spokane Medical Examiner's Office said Carol Streit died of natural causes, a heart attack. The animal predation (bite damage) was inflicted post-mortem, Chief Medical Examiner Veena Singhs stated, "and did not cause or contribute to death."
Streit suffered a "sudden cardiac death caused by a disease of the heart muscle." In the 732 dog bite fatalities we have recorded, only a handful of other deaths (< 1%) initially believed to be a fatal dog attack by authorities were later overturned by a medical examiner as cause of death natural due to a fatal stroke or heart attack prior to the bites being inflicted. Streit died in an outdoor location, so post-mortem predation by the dog or other animals is expected, and it began soon after her death.
12/14/23: Sheriff's Office Media Release
Spokane, WA - A woman found dead in a vacant field may be the victim of a dog attack, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. On December 13, 2023, at about 4:05 pm, deputies responded to a report of a possible deceased female in a vacant field in the 4500 block of East Buckeye Avenue near North Custer Road. The deceased female was discovered with her dog. "The dog, which was not on a leash or lead, exhibited protective/aggressive behavior," states a release from the sheriff's office.
Investigators believe the victim had not been lying in the field for very long. The only obvious wounds are believed to have been caused by the dog. "From the initial information gained at the scene, it appears the female had not been lying in the field for a considerable amount of time. Evidence discovered also indicates that the only obvious wounds observed were to her upper extremities and are believed to have been caused by the dog found with her at the scene," states the release.
Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) -- the agency that adopted out a pit bull-mix that killed a Spokane child on Halloween -- impounded the dog. On Friday, the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the woman as 65-year-old Carol Streit. The cause and manner of death are pending. Streit's death marks the fourth death near the Minnehaha neighborhood in the last week, including two people who were found dead after gunshots were heard.
UPDATE: Death Investigation on E. Buckeye Avenue
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Detectives and Forensic Personnel remained at the scene well into the evening as they collected evidence, conducted interviews, and documented the scene.
The deceased female was located with her dog in a vacant field to the southwest of E. Buckeye Avenue and N. Custer Road. When Deputies first arrived at the scene, the dog, which was not on a leash or lead, exhibited protective/aggressive behavior, preventing Deputies and medical personnel from assessing the unresponsive female’s condition.
Deputies eventually gained the dog’s trust and coaxed it away from the female, allowing medical personnel to check for signs of life. Soon after, she was unfortunately pronounced deceased at the scene. The dog is in the care of SCRAPS pending further investigation
From the initial information gained at the scene, it appears the female had not been lying in the field for a considerable amount of time. Evidence discovered also indicates that the only obvious wounds observed were to her upper extremities and are believed to have been caused by the dog found with her at the scene.
However, additional testing is needed before this can be confirmed.
The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office will release the name of the decedent, along with her cause and manner of death, when appropriate.
Major Crimes Detectives continue to investigate this incident as they work to factually determine what led up to and caused the death of the female.
At this time, Investigators do not believe there is an ongoing threat to the public stemming from this incident. - Spokane County Sheriff's Office
KXLY confirmed the victim's Facebook page in a follow up story Friday. Streit's social media page shows she had a female a pit bull named "Sugarpie," as recently as May, 25, 2023. However, the color markings on that pit bull terrier appear to be different than the dog seen being loaded into the SCRAPS vehicle. The lighting is poor in the video, which was shot at night. But there's no mistaking the dark brown coloring near the dog's tail in the video footage, which is absent in "Sugarpie."
Streit worked as a counselor in Spokane, according to KXLY's report, "most recently in the opioid treatment services division at the Spokane Regional Health District." Her previous pit bull, Sugarpie "passed away a few months ago and recently rescued another." Further, "Spokane County confirmed to 4 News Now that Streit adopted the dog with which she was found in October." Thus, SCRAPS, may have adopted out two pit bulls between September and October 2023 that each killed a person.
Our FOIA to Spokane County regarding the death of Kline was submitted on November 11, but the records cannot be obtained until March 2024. It's unclear why the city of Spokane and Spokane County withheld the information that the dog that killed Kline on October 31, 2023 was adopted out by SCRAPS on September 2. Streit's death is not yet confirmed as a dog bite fatality. By why withhold the adoption information in one human fatality case but not the other? Government at its finest?
SCRAPS Adoption Confirmed
The Spokesman-Review confirms the dog involved is a pit bull-mix that was adopted out by SCRAPS in October 2023. The dog had "no bite history," said a county spokesperson. Court documents obtained by The Review show that "Streit’s pants were pulled down below her waist and she was wearing only a sports bra. Her arms were injured so badly that bone was exposed, the records said, and her right hand was missing. Blood-stained clothing was also found in a field adjacent to Streit’s body."
Over the last 16-years, our nonprofit has reviewed numerous police and medical examiner reports of fatal pit bull maulings. This attack fits the bill.
KREM reports that Streit lived at Beau Rivage, an apartment complex in the 4900 block of East Upriver Drive, close to where her body was found. Neighbors said that Streit adopted "Reggie," a male pit bull, a few months ago. Shortly after the adoption, Reggie was hit by a car, but fully recovered. Neighbors told KREM they let Reggie out every morning when Streit was at work, including the day she died. The dog never showed any aggression toward humans, only to other dogs, neighbors reportedly said.
SCRAPS adopted out dog-aggressive "Reggie" to Streit in October, and like many other dog-aggressive dogs implicated in a fatal human mauling, apparently killed it's owner. As if the behavior of "aggression" in a dog can be classified into the distinctly separate factors of "animal-aggressive" or "people-aggressive." As DogsBite.org stated in 2016, "Aggression, is aggression, is aggression." A dog with "dog-killing aggression" is not a safe pet in any community with other dogs or people.
Audio Dispatch Logs
KREM plays the audio dispatch files from Broadcastify.com in their segment. We also listened to the feed from Spokane County Sheriff and Fire. The dispatcher states: "...East Buckeye, there's a possible female, face-down in a field, not moving. Unknown if she is breathing. There's a dog running next to her that has blood on it. It doesn't appear she has clothes on. 4502 East Buckeye ... The female is against the fence, near the south side of property. The dog is a pit bull. [Seems] like it belongs to her."
12/06/23: 2023 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull-Mix that Killed Child on Halloween in Northeast Spokane...
03/11/21: Peer-Reviewed Study Examines Dog-on-Dog Attacks in UK by Analyzing Media Articles
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.