An unidentified woman may have died in a dog attack early Sunday morning in the Costco parking lot at 3800 block of Rosedale Highway, the Bakersfield Police Department reported.
Officers arrived at the scene at 6:12 a.m. and found a woman "suffering from obvious trauma," according to a news release. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman was described by police as transient.
BPD said that whatever caused her death occurred several hours before they arrived on the scene.
The cause of death is still unknown at this time, and the dog attack may not have been the cause of death but an event that exacerbated whatever caused the death, police said. BPD said there were three dogs involved, two of which belonged to a local business about a block away. The third was a stray dog.
Two of the dogs were pit bull terriers and one was a mixed breed, BPD said.
"This is an extremely, extremely rare occurrence," said BPD Public Information Officer Nathan McCauley, adding that there aren't packs of dogs roaming around Bakersfield hunting people.
The dogs were brought to animal control, and the man who owned the two dogs surrendered them. All three dogs are expected to be euthanized, and one of the business owner's dogs was already euthanized for being outwardly violent, BPD said.
The owner of the two dogs was cooperative and surrendered the dogs to BPD. It is unknown if the dogs were up to date on their vaccinations or if the dogs were physically abused, neglected or trained for fighting purposes.
Multiple businesses surround Costco, some of which have jagged fences and openings in the fencing. It is unknown at which business the dogs resided and who the dog owner is, including if the owner had any previous citations for his dogs or a criminal record pertaining to animal abuse or neglect.
The dogs are being held at Bakersfield Animal Care Center.
The identity of the victim will be released by the Kern County Coroner's Office, police said. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Keith Cason at 326-3868 or the department at 327-7111.