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Pungo Christian Academy teacher dies after animal attack

A 51-year veteran teacher at Pungo Christian Academy died Monday from severe injuries sustained in an animal attack Friday, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

Brenda Hamilton, 77, of Pantego, was on her regular morning walk on Friday when she was attacked by a canine of an undetermined species. A neighbor, alerted by his own dogs barking, called 911 at 5:47 a.m. Sheriff’s office investigators, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission officers and a NCWRC biologist responded to the scene on Indian Run Road, along with Beaufort County EMS.

Through DNA testing facilitated by the NCWRC biologist, the DNA was determined to be canine in origin.

“Canine DNA was found on Mrs. Hamilton’s clothing, however, the test does not differentiate between wild canines such as wolf or coyote indigenous to the area and domestic canines that may live in the area,” said a BCSO release issued Monday.

On Monday afternoon, BCSO investigators were collecting DNA samples from domestic dogs in the area for further testing. Vanlandingham said an animal attack of this nature was highly unusual for Beaufort County, and that the BCSO is not aware of any vicious dog complaints in the area prior to Hamilton’s attack.

“This is the first one of this magnitude that I can remember in my law enforcement career,” Vanlandingham said.

Hamilton was transported to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville following the attack, where she died Monday. A statement on the PCA Facebook page Monday reflects on a long career of service and the special place Hamilton held at the school:

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I share our precious Mrs. Hamilton has gained her wings. She has always been our Pungo angel, but now she is rejoicing with her maker in heaven. Anyone who knew her has no doubt that when she enter the gates of heaven, she was welcome with these words, ‘Well done my good and faithful servant. Well done.’ The family is very appreciative of the prayers and support offered to them during this difficult time. Please continue to keep them in your prayers. Also, please keep the Raider family in your prayers, as Mrs. Hamilton was the matriarch of PCA. She will be missed.”