The damage to the body “was so extensive that there was nothing left to compare bite marks to,” Jim Bowman, a Buncombe County sheriff, said in a news conference. After a woman in North Carolina was mauled to death by her own dog, her friends and family are now asking an important question: what could cause a dog to turn on its owner?

The woman, Jane Egle, was found dead in her home with her dog apparently “guarding” her body.

Here’s the story from ABC 13 WLOS:

The results of the autopsy of a Asheville woman who was found dead in her home with an aggressive dog have been released.

The report shows that Jane Egle’s cause of death was multiple penetrating and blunt force injuries of the head and neck, consistent with dog bites from a mauling.

The body of Jane Egle, who died in May 2017, was also found to have wounds on her head, neck, back, and right upper arm, as well as lacerations of the right jugular vein, lacerations of her trachea, and fractured vertebrae, among other wounds.

Deputies who discovered Egle’s body also killed the dog found with her. Investigators said Egle’s body had deep cuts—lacerations—consistent with an animal attack.

After responding to a call for assistance, Animal Services officers tried several times to subdue the dog and get inside. EMS responders were also unable to enter and provide Egle with medical help.

After multiple attempts, the dog was finally subdued and deputies were able to remove it from the residence. Authorities say the dog was killed at the scene after being taken out of the home.

Deputies checked Egle’s pulse, found that she had none, and advised EMS that Egle had died.

A relative at the scene told deputies the dog had a history of aggressive behavior.

Here’s more about canine aggression from Live Science:

“It’s a difficult incident to understand. It certainly is horrible,” said Richard Polsky, an animal behavior and dog-bite expert in Los Angeles.

But in general, for dogs to act aggressively, there needs to be some kind of external “trigger,” Polsky said. “The dog may have been thwarted in doing something, got frustrated and turned around and attacked the owner,” Polsky told Live Science.

There are about 5 million dog-bite cases annually in the U.S., Polsky estimated. Around 30 to 40 people die each year from their injuries, and an estimated 100,000 are injured badly enough to require plastic surgery or extensive suturing, according to Polsky.

Will y0u say a prayer for the Egle family?

Has your dog ever acted aggressively toward you?