Husband speaks out about wife's dog mauling death

Published: Dec. 3, 2009 at 10:48 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2010 at 6:43 PM EST
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By Shayla Reaves - bio | email

WHITE MILLS, KY (WAVE) - A grieving husband is hoping criminal charges will be filed against the owner of a dog that fatally mauled his wife.

In August 2009, Karen Gillespie celebrated 30 years of marriage with her husband, Stephen, and 28 of those years were spent at a home off Webb Mill Road in White Mills, Kentucky.

"She'd been coming down here since she was a little kid, 5 and 6 years old, playing in the field, playing in the woods," Stephen Gillespie said.

So when Karen had a stroke in 2006, it's those same woods that kept her connected. Lost cognitive skills were replaced with an interest in genealogy that led to the unthinkable last week.

"She got up and put her hiking boots on and got the camera and said she was going to look for the schoolhouse," Stephen recalled. "She said I'll be back in a little bit. That's the last time I ever seen her."

Dark settled in two hours later and so did Stephen's worries. He trekked the woods, calling out Karen's name but getting no answer. His brother-in-law and Karen's sister arrived to help and a call to police stretched rescue efforts into the night.

Devastating news came in the morning.

"I don't even want to see it," said Stephen of the place where rescue crews made their discovery.

Just 100 yards from her grandmother's home that she visited as a child, crews discovered the body of Karen Gillespie.

"She had defensive wounds on her hands and arms where she tried to block," said a tearful Stephen. "It was 16 hours she laid out there with her throat ripped out. I mean it was just unbearable."

The coroner confirmed that Karen's injuries are dog-related. A dog is quarantined at Hardin County Animal Control. It belongs to a neighbor Stephen says he doesn't know.

"She was my greatest love," Stephen said. "I'm sure Karen, last thing she thought when she left here was that a dog was going to kill her. I'm more interested in criminal charges than I am money. Money ain't going to help me. If they said you could have $50 million or put these people in prison, I wouldn't even have to hesitate ... I want them in prison."

We're told Karen was found about five minutes away from the home she and Stephen shared. Karen and Stephen were also looking forward to the birth of their granddaughter in mid-December.

County Attorney Steve Bland says he has already contacted the Commonwealth Attorney's office in this case, and it could be headed to a grand jury.

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