Essex dog attack: Tragic mauling incident victim named locally as Esther Martin - was visiting grandson

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'She came to visit my nephew and now she is dead' - woman killed after being mauled by two dogs has been named

The woman killed after being mauled by dogs in Essex has been named locally as Esther Martin, a 68-year-old from Woodford Green, London.

Kelly Fretwell, her daughter, said Mrs Martin was visiting her 11-year-old grandson at a house in Hillman Avenue, Jaywick, at around 4pm on Saturday (3 February) when she was attacked by the animals.

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Two dogs - whose breed has not been confirmed - have since been destroyed, with a 39-year-old man arrested on suspicion of dangerous dog offences.

Meanwhile, Kelly paid tribute to Mrs Martin, who she said was recovering from the tragic loss of a daughter two years ago.

"She was amazing. She was retired and trying to bring her life back on track after the passing of my sister two years ago," she said. "She came to visit my nephew and now she is dead."

Kelly said she was unaware of what had happened until the police arrived at her door at 10pm on Saturday night to deliver the heartbreaking news.

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"This is a very distressing time for our family," she went on. "If someone knocked on your door at night to say that your mum had been mauled to death, would you believe them?"

Essex Police said they were called to the scene at just after 4pm on Saturday, where they found the victim seriously injured. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A suspect, who is from the village, was arrested on suspicion of dangerous dog offences and is being questioned by detectives.

The dogs had to be destroyed and police said that experts would confirm their breed later. The scene is now safe for members of the public, he added.

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Chief Superintendent Glen Pavelin, of Essex Police, said: "My thoughts, and those of our officers and staff, are with the family of the woman who died yesterday. This incident will be a huge shock to the community and I understand their concerns.

"We'll have officers in the area throughout today so please come and speak to them if you have any information or are worried. Experienced detectives are leading the investigation to identify exactly what has happened.

"I know there will be speculation about the breed of the dogs involved. We're waiting for confirmation from experts about this before releasing further details and I'd ask people not to speculate.

"If anyone has any information about what has happened please contact us." Contact the force online quoting reference 723 of Saturday, or information can be provided to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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