updated 12/13/2003 2:02:06 PM ET 2003-12-13T19:02:06

Seven pit bulls escaped from their owner’s home and mauled an 82-year-old neighbor to death Friday.

Alice Broom died at Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, officials told the Ocala Star-Banner for its Saturday editions.

Broom was found by the dogs’ owner, Robert Freeman, 67. He said the dogs were attacking the woman when he arrived, and speculated that the attack had gone on for at least 10 minutes.

The dogs were seized by county animal control officials. Freeman, who was not immediately charged with a crime, said he told county officers to destroy the dogs.

Broom’s daughter Mary Alice Smothers said Freeman’s neighbors had called animal control officials several times in recent months about the dogs, who had been involved in at least two other biting incidents.

“I can’t blame (Freeman). I blame animal control,” Smothers told the Star-Banner.

Marion County sheriff’s officials said Friday night that an investigation is continuing.

Citra is north of Ocala and about 80 miles northwest of Orlando.

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