Tyler Griffin-Huston, a 9-year-old boy from Yuba County, California, has died after he was reportedly mauled to death by his half-sister’s pet dogs — all of them pit bulls. According to a KTLA report, the incident happened on Sunday morning after Tyler’s 24-year-old half sister, Alexandria Griffin-Heady, left the boy alone in a trailer and went to work. The boy was left alone in the trailer along with the three pit bulls. When Alexandria returned to the trailer three hours later, she found Tyler lying injured and “unresponsive.” The boy also had “significant wounds” on his body, confirmed an official from the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office.
Alexandria quickly called 911 and emergency responders reached the spot a few minutes later and attempted preliminary treatment and CPR. They boy however remained unresponsive and was declared deceased at a local hospital, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Authorities investigating the case believe at least one of the pit bulls was involved in the attack that killed Tyler, Yuba County Sheriff Steven Durfor confirmed. The trailer where Tyler was attacked was located in Linda — a small community 40 miles north of Sacramento. It is unclear if officials would charge Tyler’s half-sister for accidentally causing the boy’s death.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) January 5, 2016
Tyler Griffin-Huston was on a visit to his half-sister’s place for the weekend. The boy lost his mother back in 2011 was in and out of foster care. In fact, at the time of the unfortunate accident, Tyler was under the supervision of the Sacramento Child Protective Services. Alexandria was allowed to spend time with Tyler over the weekends and had secured all the necessary permissions for her half-brother’s weekend visits and overnight stays. The 24-year-old had plans to adopt the boy and raise him and “shape him into an amazing man.” Fate, however, had other plans.
In an interview with a local TV station, Alexandria expressed her grief over her brother’s death and said she had failed the young boy.
“I failed him. Whether it’s my fault, my dogs’ fault, whoever’s fault – I wanted to protect him, and I wanted to give him an amazing life.
“He’ll never get to drive a car. He’ll never get to have a first kiss. He’ll never get to graduate. He wanted to be a zookeeper … he loved animals. It kills me, he’ll never get any of those.”
Meanwhile, TV Station KTXL said they received a statement from the Sacramento Child Protective Services, which read as follows.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of this child… CPS is continuing to work with Yuba County law enforcement during this investigation.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 5, 2016
Sister of boy mauled by pit bulls: I should have done things differently https://t.co/kXXGlyu9EP pic.twitter.com/9Wa5EUVPS4
— kcranews (@kcranews) January 7, 2016
The circumstances in which the pit bulls attacked Tyler remains unclear. What makes the attack even stranger is the fact that all the three pit bulls were familiar with Tyler, and they did not show any signs of aggressive behavior towards the boy on previous overnight visits. In fact, Tyler himself loved the dogs and had said he would one day adopt their puppies.The three pit bulls had no reports of aggressive behavior — confirmed County Animal Care Services.
“He loved them. He laid in the bed with them. He played with them. He wanted one of their puppies.”
Following the death of Tyler, the three pit bulls could be euthanized in case an investigation proves that the animals made an unprovoked attack on Tyler. This scenario could also result in the owner of the pit bulls to be charged. According to Roberto Marquez, Alexandria’s lawyer, it would be double tragedy for the family if she is slapped with criminal charges. He termed the incident an unpredictable tragedy while adding that Griffin-Heady was trying all she could to re-unite a broken family.
“If she had any hint at all that these dogs had any propensity for violence, she would never have left her brother with them. She raised them and cannot fathom what could have happened that caused them to attack a little boy.
“I don’t even think it rises to the level of negligence… She had no knowledge that anything like this could occur.”
Do you think the pit bulls should be euthanized and the owner charged in this unfortunate incident?
[Image via Shutterstock]