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Baby Is Killed by 2 Dogs

Rialto: Three-week-old girl is mauled by family's Siberian huskies.

November 21, 2001|DOUGLAS HABERMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A three-week-old infant died after being mauled Tuesday morning by the family's two huskies in their Rialto home, authorities said.

Josie Simone Hearon was left alone in a waist-high bassinet in the living room while her mother spoke briefly to a pest control employee on the porch, police said.

As she spoke to the employee, the mother occasionally checked on the infant, Det. Mary Ortiz said. When she returned to the living room, the baby had dog bites on her head, chest and abdomen, Sgt. Sarah King said.

Ortiz, who is investigating the case, said it was unclear if the dogs were still attacking the baby when the mother returned. The mother's name was not released by police.

The dogs were 4-year-old Siberian huskies that the parents had acquired as puppies, Ortiz said. She did not know their size and weight. Siberian huskies are typically 20 to 24 inches tall and weigh 35 to 65 pounds, according to a Web site sponsored by Siberian husky organizations.

When police arrived at the home in the 100 block of South Olive Avenue, the baby was unconscious and had a faint pulse. Paramedics took the infant to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, where she died during surgery, San Bernardino County coroner's officials said.

Ortiz said she did not know if the case would be forwarded to the district attorney's office. "It appears that there is no criminal negligence," she said, but added that the investigation must be completed before a decision is made.

King said it did not appear to be a case of abuse or neglect. "Beautiful home, really attentive parents," she said. "Absolutely a horrible accident to a very nice family."

The fate of the dogs is uncertain, Ortiz said. If she requests it, "a court could order them to be put down," she said.

The dogs were placed in quarantine at the county animal shelter in Devore, King said.

The infant was the couple's first child, King said.

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