NEWPORT, Tenn. (WATE) — Two deadly animal attacks are under investigation in Cocke County. Deputies say they happened in the same area of Newport just months apart. The most recent happened on July 12, where a woman died, according to a sheriff’s office spokesperson. The family identified the victim as 29-year-old Amber Miller.
Three months earlier, on April 1, a man died in what the department called “a previous attack of similar nature.” Both happened near Jimtown Road. “They worked on her six to eight hours every day, and they said she had so many wounds that they could not even count them,” Miller’s great aunt, Regina Jozefek, said.
Jozefek detailed the grueling last couple of days. She says Miller fought for her life at UT Medical Center before dying on Sunday evening. “My head is still kind of scrambled and like I said, I know that it’s done. And I prayed with her and I believe she’s ok now, I believe she’s in a better place and she’s not suffering,” said Jozefek.
In a Facebook post, the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office wrote that both attacks are under “a strong investigation.” “I just think that’s horrible. Because that’s something that could have been prevented,” Jozefek said.
A spokesperson said it has not yet been determined what animal caused the attack. They are waiting for autopsy results to clarify.
Miller’s Great Aunt said, “Three dogs. Big dogs.” A sheriff’s office spokesperson declined to comment when asked if investigators believed the animal belonged to anyone and if they planned to press charges.
Meantime, Miller’s family is focused on this: “My main objective now is getting us out there and getting some justice,” Jozefek said.
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A TBI spokesperson told us the agency was requested to assist the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone with information relevant to either case is asked to call 423-623-6004.