A woman eaten by bears as she walked her dog has been named as a 39 year-old ‘adventurer,’ as a coroner said she died from ‘perforating’ neck wounds.
Laney Malavolta, 39, was identified four days after being killed while walking her two dogs near Durango, Colorado, on April 30.
Malavolta’s partner Justin Rengel made the grim discovery after returned to their home around 8:30pm the same evening.
He saw the couple’s two dogs in the yard with their leashes on, but there was no sign of Malavolta. Rengel then went looking for his partner.
Laney Malatova, a ‘life-long adventurer,’ was identified as the victim of a bear attack on April 30 in Durango, Colorado. She suffered from a fatal ‘perforating injury to her neck’
Malavolta’s body was found by her boyfriend, Justin Rengel, right, who noticed she was still missing when he returned home and proceeded to search a trail she liked to walk on
He searched a trail on private land where she frequently walked the dogs and notified authorities after discovering her partially-eaten body.
Malavolta worked as a wine sales representative with the Republic National Distributing Co. in Littleton, Colorado, according to the Durango Herald.
She was described as a ‘life-long adventurer and lover of the outdoors’ in a moving online obituary Rengel wrote in the wake of his partner’s death.
‘Laney spent her life in the outdoors and was an experienced and knowledgeable operator in the back country,’ he wrote. ‘Her greatest joy was to be in the woods with our friends, our family and our dogs.’
He said his sorrow about Malavolta’s tragic death was ‘eased’ by the fact that she was doing what she loved at the time.
‘While Laney’s physical presence was suddenly taken from this earth, all that know and love her can take comfort,’ he said. ‘Laney’s soul will live forever in her favorite place, doing her favorite thing. She would not have wanted it any other way.’
‘While this tragedy has shaken me and our family to the core, our burden is eased as we consider these facts.’
Malavolta worked as a wine sales representative with the Republic National Distributing Co.
Rengel said Malavolta (pictured) was an experienced and knowledgeable outdoorswoman, who died doing what she loved
The scene of the April 30 bear attack is pictured, with the partially-eaten victim since named as Laney Malavolta
Black bears are typically active in the spring, Jason Clay, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Public Information Officer, said (file photo)
‘There was consumption of the body,’ Clay said, ‘and there was a lot of bear sign in the area.’
The CPW authorities found bear dropping and hair near the body, they previously said, at which point they used a dog search team to locate a 10-year-old sow and two young yearlings nearby.
The three black bears were then euthanized under the CPW’s policy for when a bear attacks or consumes human remains, CBS Denver reports.
A subsequent necropsy, similar to a human autopsy, showed that the sow and one of the two yearlings had human remains in the digestive tracts.
Cory Chick, CPW’s regional manager, said the sow was potentially teaching its yearlings that humans are a source of food, not something to fear or avoid, making them dangerous to people.
‘We cannot determine with exact certainty how or why this attack took place,’ Chick said in the announcement of the necropsy findings, ‘but it is important for the public not to cast blame on this woman for the unfortunate and tragic event.’
Malavolta’s death accounts for just the fourth fatal bear attack since Colorado Parks and Wildlife started recording them in 1960.
There have been several sightings of black bears near Durango in recent months, and Clay said they are typically active in the spring.