Cops look for family of California woman found dead in Costco parking lot dog attack

The woman found dead at a Costco parking lot in Bakersfield, California, following a dog attack earlier this month has been identified, and now police are searching for her family.

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office coroner identified the woman as Crystal Lynn Pearigen, 36, and said she died of multiple injuries in an incident that was ruled an accident, KGET reports. But so far, officials haven’t been able to reach Pearigen’s family, according to the TV station. Police are looking into whether Pearigen was homeless, 23ABC reports.

Bakersfield police Sgt. Nathan McCauley said earlier this month that the woman was found with traumatic dog attack injuries around 6 a.m. on June 16 near the warehouse retailer along Rosedale Highway, the Los Angeles Times reported. First responders pronounced the woman dead at the scene and said she had died hours before authorities arrived, the Bakersfield Californian reported.

Police said three dogs attacked the woman, including one stray and two that were owned by a nearby business, according to the Californian.

“This is an extremely, extremely rare occurrence,” McCauley said, assuring the public that packs of dogs aren’t roving around the city, according to the Californian.

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One dog was a mixed breed, the Californian reported, while the others were pit bull terriers.

“We’re not sure if the dogs caused her death or if she had another medical issue,” McCauley said, adding that a fight between the dogs and the victim likely started in a nearby industrial yard based on paw prints found at the scene, according to the Times.

Police said the dogs were all taken into animal control custody, 23ABC reported.

One dog involved has already been euthanized, according to KGET, and animal control is set to kill the other two as well.

Surveillance video obtained by 17 News showed two of the three animals suspected of being involved in the attack in the area in the hours before the incident, according to the TV station.

Neighbors said homeless people frequent the area, as well as dogs that business owners assumed belonged to the homeless individuals, according to 17 News.

Business owners said they thought one of the animals involved was pregnant, 17 News reported.

“I’ve seen those two particular dogs walk around once in a blue moon,” Jaime Camorlinga, owner of Central Valley Performance auto shop, told 23ABC. “I never thought about them as dangerous or anything.”

Material in this story appeared in an article on the incident published by the author on July 18.

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