IDA GROVE, Iowa -- Authorities say an autopsy has determined that an elderly Ida Grove woman bled to death after being bitten by her German shepherd.
Ida County Sheriff Wade Harriman said deputies responded to the home of 79-year-old Shirley Lou Bird Monday after being notified by her nephew, who had been unable to contact Bird for several days.
At the home, 502 Moorehead St., deputies found Bird's deceased body, which had several bite marks, including a deep bite wound on her arm.
Harriman said authorities believe Bird was bitten several times by her 5-year-old German shepherd and she went into the bathroom to stop the bleeding. An autopsy conducted by the Iowa State Medical Examiner's Office determined that she died from blood loss.
Family members said Bird had a hard time controlling the dog and previously suffered bite and scratch marks, according to Harriman.
"It was a pretty aggressive dog," he said. "It wouldn't let anyone in the house when she wasn't there."
The dog has been euthanized.