Lisa Urso, 52, was found dead at her home in Ingleside, located in the northern part of the state about 60 miles from both Chicago and Milwaukee in opposite directions.
Officers who responded to the scene after 4:43 p.m. Saturday found her mutilated body on the back porch, Fox Lake Police Chief Jimmy Lee said.
An autopsy confirmed she died from injuries sustained when her pet French Bulldog attacked her. The coroner’s office said the attack began inside the home but Urso managed to make it out to the porch, where she died, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“You don’t really think about it happening with a smaller dog breed but we forget animals can be powerful,” Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper told WGN. “This animal has a lot of jaw strength.”
The French Bulldog that fatally attacked Urso was a rescue and had previously been used to fight, Cooper said.
That animal, as well as a second French Bulldog and a Border Collie, were removed from the home and are in the custody of Lake County Animal Care and Control.
Cooper said most of the bite marks were not on the woman’s neck, but, instead, on her legs and arms.
“Some on her torso as well. Just a lot of bites. A lot of scratching,” he said. “I hate to say it but unfortunately it was a vicious attack.”
An investigation is ongoing. Chief Lee said there were signs of a struggle within the home. Blood was found on at least one other dog. It was unclear if her other pets were involved or intervened.
“We have been in close contact with Ms. Urso’s family and our deepest condolences go out to them during this difficult time,” Cooper said in a statement, according to the Sun-Times. “This is truly a tragedy.”
Police said that the woman was supposed to meet up with co-workers Saturday. When she didn’t show, they came to check on her.
Urso lived with her boyfriend, who was not at home at the time of the fatal attack. He himself had been attacked by the same French Bulldog last month, and the animal was taken away, Lee said. Urso had gone to the Lake County Animal Care and Control to retrieve the dog, which was returned to her, the Daily Herald reported.