Elderly woman who used wheelchair unable to escape when family dog attacked

Police: 77-year-old died from bites, exacerbated by underlying health issues

Elderly woman who used wheelchair unable to escape when family dog attacked
Police say it appears a family dog bit 77-year-old Sharon Daniels repeatedly, which led to her death. (Source: Family photos/WOOD/CNN)

BIG PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP, MI (WOOD/CNN) - Police are investigating after a Michigan woman was killed when she was left alone with three pet pit bulls, who of whom reportedly attacked her for unknown reasons.

Sharon Lee Daniels, 77, lived with her family and three dogs, which were described as pit bulls, in a rural neighborhood in Big Prairie Township, MI. She was missing a leg and had cancer, police say, and used a wheelchair to get around.

The 77-year-old was left alone with the dogs Tuesday night, and when her family returned around 7 p.m., they found her dead.

Police say it appears a family dog bit 77-year-old Sharon Daniels repeatedly, which led to her death. (Source: Family photos/WOOD/CNN)
Police say it appears a family dog bit 77-year-old Sharon Daniels repeatedly, which led to her death. (Source: Family photos/WOOD/CNN) (Source: Family photos/WOOD/CNN)

Police say it appears one of the three dogs bit Daniels repeatedly – for reasons unknown – which led to her death. It is also believed Daniels’ underlying medical conditions contributed to the severity of the bites.

Adi Huedepohl knew Daniels for 40 years, and she says the woman was like a mother to her.

"She's the only grandma my youngest son has known in his life, and he got up for school this morning. '[I said], 'You might not feel like going to school today.' And he said, 'Why, Mom?' And I said, 'Because Grandma Daniels died last night,' and he broke down. He was crying in my lap,” Huedephol said.

The dogs were taken by Newaygo County Animal Control, which will determine what will be done with them. There are no indications there were previous problems with the dogs, police say.

"Those dogs have been in the house, and they're part of the family. She knew those dogs, and those dogs knew her,” said Lt. Matthew Kanitz with the Michigan State Police.

Authorities have ordered an autopsy to confirm Daniels’ cause of death.

Copyright 2018 WOOD, Family photos via CNN. All rights reserved.