Willamsburg Pastor Found Dead in Pen of Pitbulls
CALLAWAY COUNTY - 84-year-old Reverend John Reynolds was found mauled in a pen where his son raised pit bulls. The Callaway County Sheriff's Department said Reynolds' son, also named John Reynolds, found his body last week with injuries consistent of an animal attack.
The Sheriff's Department said it doesn't expect to file any charges. And as for the dogs, the county said it does not have the resources to handle so many. The dogs remain on the property with Reynolds' son. The Sheriff's Department said there are six adult pitbulls and 11 puppy pitbulls. Reynolds' son said three of the 17 are not pitbulls.
Reynolds' lived on property off Osage Court in Callaway County near Williamsburg in Kingdom of Callaway Estates. His property is cluttered with cars, trailers and fencing. One dog sat near a damaged barbed wire fence with its leash looped around a tree. Barking echoed from behind a garage-like structure and trailers.
His son said he doesn't think any of his pitbulls killed his father. He believes the attack could have been from a mountain lion or stray dogs. The Missouri Department of Conservation said Reynolds' bite wounds do not match a mountain lions bite.
One neighbor who didn't want to give her name said the dogs run loose from time to time, coming into her yard. She has called the Sheriff's department before about Reynolds' dogs. She said the department told her there's nothing it can do.
Gene Crews, another resident, said he hasn't noticed a problem with Reynolds' animals. Crews has lived in the neighborhood for 14 years and is the former president of the board of directors of Kingdom of Callaway Estates.
"I think he kept them pretty well up there on his property, but we do have a dog problem in this community," Crews said.
He said he's never heard any complaints about the dogs. Reynolds' death surprised Crews.
"I was quite shocked because I didn't really realize there was anything wrong with him," Crews said.
Dogs and other animals commonly roam the area according to residents. Crews said the board has rules to handle aggressive animals.
"We have a bylaw in our rules that all dogs of that nature have to be tied up and not let loose," Crews said.
The Callaway County Sheriff's Department, the health department and the prosecuting attorney will continue to investigate. The Missouri Humane Society has an investigator on the case as well.