KENNEWICK — A Tri-Cities woman died Thursday after she was reportedly mauled by two pitbulls, including one who entered her home on West Victoria Avenue in an unincorporated Kennewick neighborhood.
Billene “Billi” Cameron, 65, died of complications related to surgery at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland after she was mauled the day before, Wednesday Sept. 20.
She and her husband, Dwayne Woodard, are well known business owners. They and their son, Jackson, established Woody’s BullPen Bar & Grille at the former Billy’s Bull Pen Tavern in Kennewick in 2018.
Pitbulls first attacked her pug on Wednesday, but Cameron was able to get it away from the pitbulls as she also was attacked, according to information posted by her cousin Vern Lampman Jr. on his Facebook page.
A neighbor behind her property saw the attack and climbed over the six-foot fence, falling into Cameron’s yard, according to Lampman.
The neighbor used his cane to beat one of the pitbulls, allowing Cameron to escape into her house.
But the other pitbull followed her into the house and continued the attack on her, Lampman said.
The neighbor followed her into the house and was able to get the pitbull away from her using a shovel he had grabbed, he said.
“She then managed to get into her bathroom, close the door and called 911,” Lampman posted.
Benton County Sheriff’s deputies were in the area and arrived quickly to contain the pitbulls and Cameron was taken to a hospital.
She passed away shortly after midnight on Thursday after two surgeries, he said. The attack happened about 2 p.m. Wednesday.
An autopsy is planned Wednesday Sept. 17 in Thurston County, Wash.
As of Friday the pug was alive, according to Lampman. He said that one of the pitbulls had the pug in its mouth and was shaking it before Cameron got it away.
The pitbulls are being held by Benton County and owner of the dogs has been identified, said Benton County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Horacio Gonzalez. An investigation is ongoing and no arrests had been made as of Friday, he said.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office is in charge of the investigation because Cameron’s house, which is about a block north of the IHop restaurant on Canal Drive, is in an area that has not been incorporated into Kennewick city.
Jordan Woodard let friends and family know about her mother’s death on Facebook and on a GoFundMe campaign for funeral and other expenses.
“Anyone who knows her knows that she was a light in the community and a pillar for those around her,” she wrote.
The campaign had raised $12,300 by Sunday morning.