The family of a 28-year-old woman have released a statement after she died following a dog attack in Caterham.

The woman, who has not yet been formally identified, is thought to have been walking a number of dogs on January 12 when she was set upon at Gravelly Hill, Caterham.

Surrey Police said officers were first called to reports of a dog attacking members of the public at 2.45pm last Thursday afternoon.

Paramedics were unable to save the dog walker, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

A second woman was taken to hospital to treatment for dog bites but her condition was reported as not life-threatening.

The victim’s family said: “This is an extremely difficult time for us and as well as dealing with this sudden loss in our family, the significant level of media interest and the graphic nature of some of the reporting, has been a source of additional distress.

“We continue to appeal for our privacy to be respected during our time of grief.”

Armed officers, with support from the National Police Air Service, detained a total of eight dogs at the scene.

These dogs remain in the custody of police and their owners are being kept updated.

No arrests have been made.

Surrey Police have announced that both a forensic pathologist and a veterinary pathologist have been drafted in to determine what happened.

Detective Inspector Josephine Horner, the senior investigating officer, said: “Inquiries into the circumstances surrounding this young woman’s sad death continue and we will provide further updates when possible.

“We know this incident has caused real concern in the local community and neighbourhood officers have been out in the area speaking to local residents over the past few days.

“We continue to ask people not to speculate on the circumstances whilst inquiries are under way.”

Richard Bream, who runs the nearby Mardens Kennels, told the PA News Agency he had never heard of a dog attack in the area before.

He said: “That particular area, View Point, is an area where professional dog walkers will turn up in their van and take the dogs out and walk them.

“I’ve always felt you see some of these dog walkers have five or six, and they shouldn’t be able to do that.

A woman walking a border collie past one of the police cordons, who asked not to be named, said she was shocked by the incident.

She said: “It’s a nice circular woodland walk and we’ve never had any issues before. It is so shocking, normal dogs surely wouldn’t do that.”

A man at an address near the scene, who asked not to be named, told the PA News Agency the beauty spot was very popular with dog walkers.

He said: “The dogs dispersed into different areas of the woods and the police helicopter was out looking for them.”