Update: Second dog found in deadly dog attack

Published: Dec. 24, 2017 at 12:35 PM EST
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UPDATE: 12/25/2017

Officials with the Bell County Sheriff's Department say they have found the second dog involved in an attack that happened Sunday which killed one woman and left her husband injured.

The dog was found around 2 p.m. Monday after it returned to its' owners residence. Animal control took it to the Bell County Animal Shelter, it was put down Monday afternoon.


The Bell County Sheriff's department confirmed to WYMT a woman was killed following a dog attack.

The call came in around 10:20 Sunday morning. Bell County Coroner Jay Steele said two Pit Bulls attacked Johnny and his wife Lorraine Saylor in their yard. The attack happened on Wiser Branch Road in the Arjay community. Steele said Lorraine, 66, died during the attack after receiving massive injuries about her neck, face and shoulder, while Johnny was bitten on his head, arm and hand and taken to the hospital for treatment.

James Saylor, who is Johnny's brother, who lives next door heard barking and quickly took action. He said he threw a door stop and yelled at the dogs, which allowed his brother to get away by going into the house.

"They had my brother halfway out the door, chewing on his arm," said James Saylor who is Johnny Saylor's brother.

Steele said Johnny was able to shoot both dogs, which killed one, while the other dog ran off near Country Lane. Officials said the dogs did not belong to the couple.

"I'd seen them, but I didn't think they'd be mean like that," James said.

Steele said he has been personal friends with Johnny and Lorraine for nearly 30 years.

"They were just a super nice couple and I can't even begin to put myself in his shoes, it's overwhelming the circumstances and what he found," said Steele. "She worried more about neighbors and friends than she did herself, as Johnny's the same way, they're just a very giving couple."

As for James, he said right now he is still just trying to understand the attack.

"It's strange ain't it, but you know when your time comes it comes," James said.

Animal Control and the Bell County Sheriff's Department are currently searching for the dog that got away. They are asking everyone in the Arjay area to stay away from the dog if sighted and call them immediately at 606-337-6174.

Steele said Lorraine's autopsy will be conducted on Tuesday.

As for the dog that died, Steele said Animal Control took it and will examine it either Tuesday or Wednesday.

After further investigation, the Bell County Sheriff's Department said they discovered the dogs belonged to Johnny Dale Lankford, 42, who was already being held in the Bell County Detention Center on charges from Friday, December 22nd for assault 2nd degree, domestic violence, unlawful imprisonment 2nd degree and a bench warrant.

Deputies said they interviewed Lankford inside the detention center and charged him with harboring a vicious animal, he was already being held on a $25,000 bond.