Pregnant woman killed by dog she was walking, say experts

Bite marks discovered on body found in woods in November 2019 suggest she was killed by a single animal

3 November 2020
By Connexion journalist

A pregnant woman whose body was found in a forest in northern France almost a year ago was killed by one of her dogs, veterinary experts have said.

The body of Elisa Pilarski who was six months pregnant, was found in a ravine in the Retz forest by her partner, near the town of Villers-Cotterets, about 90km northeast of Paris, in late November 2019. She had been walking her dogs.

According to a post-mortem examination, the 29-year-old's cause of death was "haemorrhage from several bites" from one or more dogs, according to local newspaper Courrier Picard.

A hunt with dogs was taking place in the forest that afternoon. Police carried out tests on 67 dogs, including five belonging to the victim and others owned by the association Le Rallye de la Passion, which was involved in the hunt, to find out which animals attacked her.

Read more: No injuries found on hunt dogs in manslaughter inquiry

Experts now say that bite marks on her body correspond to the size and shape of the mouth of one of the animals she was walking, an American Staffordshire Terrier. Results of the DNA samples taken from the victim's body are expected shortly.

The animal is said to belong to Ms Pilarski's partner. She had called him a number of times to report the presence of "threatening dogs", sources close to the case told BFM TV at the time. Telephone records confirm several calls from her phone to that of her partner.

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