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Georgia family could face charges in toddler's mauling death

March 29, 2013|By Paloma Esquivel

The family of a toddler who was mauled to death by the family’s pit bulls could face charges in the girl’s death, authorities said.  

Monica Renee Laminack, 21 months, was mauled to death by seven pit pulls in the backyard of her family’s home in Ellabell, Ga. on Wednesday, according to the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office.

In a news conference posted online by WSAV-TV, Sheriff Clyde Smith said the dogs lived with the family.  

“At some point there they started attacking the child, mauled her, drug her all over the yard,” he said.

Smith told local television station WTOC that a 12-year-old uncle was supposed to be watching the toddler. The attack was underway and the dogs were barking and making noise when a family member looked out and yelled that “they were killing Monica,” he said in the news conference.  

The family rushed into the yard and pulled the dogs off the girl. Laminack’s 18-year-old mother “picked the child up and stated that she knew the child was dead at that time,” Smith said.

The dogs were euthanized after the attack.

The sheriff said the investigation was continuing but he was certain charges would be brought. “I’m sure there will be some neglect at the minimum,” he said. He told WTOC that the girl’s mother, Summer Laminack,  could be charged with second degree child cruelty.

Dist.  Atty. Tom Durden told the Los Angeles Times on Friday that he did not plan to take any action on charges until after the child's funeral.

“We want to respect the privacy of the family,” he said. “Any decision will be made after that.”

Officers who had responded to the home were distraught, Smith told reporters.

“They were very disturbed. They said it was the worst they had seen. It was bad. Very bad.”

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paloma.esquivel@latimes.com

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