Autopsy results in toddler pit bull attack death expected Monday
ELLABELL, GA (WTOC) - On Monday, Bryan County's Sheriff will meet with the District Attorney to discuss if charges, and what kind, will be filed involving the deadly pit bull attack which killed an Ellabell toddler.
Autopsy results are expected back the same day. Wednesday evening, seven family pit bulls attacked, mauled and killed 21 month old Monica Laminack in the backyard of her Elm Drive home.
Many in the community, even deputies themselves, asking where the adults were while the attack was taking place, and how long did it really last?
The short answer from Sheriff Clyde Smith on where the adults in the home were? Napping.
The 18-year-old mother of the child, the grandmother and a great grandmother were asleep while two uncles, 15 and 12 years old, were awake with the toddler, and the dogs roaming the house, according to the Sheriff.
Sheriff Smith and Detective Donnie Thomas say they have more questions for the family. Smith says there is no excuse for no adults to be keeping a close eye on little Monica, which is why 2nd degree felony child cruelty charges are being seriously considered, possibly other charges, which he says will likely be filed after the little girl's funeral, which has still not been set.
The girls body was released to the family Friday, Sheriff Smith told WTOC.
The mother, Summer Laminack, 18, will most likely face the child cruelty charges, if they are filed.
How long the attack on 21-month-old Monica Laminack is what detectives are now focusing on as well as why it took so long for people in the home to respond. All five were home at the time, including the mother, grandmother and great grandmother, who were napping, according to detective Thomas. Sheriff Smith has said Thursday the mother had mentioned coming home from the store, which detective Thomas is still investigating as well.
Thomas says the 15-year-old uncle appeared to have been playing video games at the time the attack was discovered. The 12-year-old uncle told police he was doing homework and the mother told deputies it was the 12 year old who was watching the little girl.
It wasn't until the grandmother woke up and heard the dogs barking did anyone realize something horrible had happened.
"Her statement was she yelled, they are killing Monica. They are killing Monica. That is when the rest of the family heard that and they all ran out to the backyard," Det. Thomas told WTOC. "It wasn't just a one or two minute ordeal. It was not one or two bites and the dogs went on their own way."
Det. Thomas and Sheriff Smith wanted to show me the pictures of Monica's body after the attack to give me a better understanding of how severe the attack was, and how appeared to be more prolonged and drawn out.
The bite marks covered her entire body, the graphic photos even showing what appeared to be the tiny child's head nearly decapitated along with severe internal damage.
Autopsy results are expected Monday. Smith does not believe the child was hurt or dead before the attack, and believes her death was solely due to the attack and is not suspicious.
The attack also raised the question of why were there so many dogs in the home and so many pit bulls?
This home had 9 dogs in all. Seven were pit bulls. The two other dogs were not involved in the deadly attack.
There is no limit in the state of Georgia on the number of dogs you can own, according to Bryan County Animal Control, and in Bryan County you only need a kennel permit if you have 10 or more dogs in your home.
Wednesday night, the question why a mama pit bull and her six offspring would follow this little girl after what the family told deputies was no signs of aggression before and suddenly turn on her in the backyard, is something no one will ever know.
Detective Thomas says the vicious mauling by the pack of pit bulls, family pets or not, does not necessarily mean there was any reason to suggest the dogs were bred to fight. As a matter of fact, he saw no signs of that.
"No sir, sure didn't. They appeared to be healthy, well taken care of dogs. Healthy dogs. No signs they were fighting dogs. No. We had one dog with old scars but nothing happened recently," Thomas said.
With all seven pits euthanized at the scene, the focus of the investigation is on the family now, specifically Summer Laminack. Child cruelty charges still being researched and the most likely option.
Sheriff Smith told WTOC he should have a more clear idea of the direction they will go as far as charges after he meets with the DA on Monday.
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