A bizarre case out of Port Huron, Michigan, is going viral among pit bull defenders now that the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s office has declared that the victim of a deadly dog mauling was a suicide. The woman, a 22-year-old Port Huron resident, reportedly climbed over a fence into a backyard and then was attacked first by a pit bull and then by a pit bull-husky mix. Reports have indicated that it is unclear why Rebecca Hardy climbed over a fence and into the yard.
Ray Jankowski, an investigator with the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s office, reported that Rebecca Hardy suffered multiple injuries but says that the manner of her death has been ruled a suicide. Hardy reportedly climbed into the fenced-in backyard at 1721 Tenth St. in Port Huron. According to the Detroit Free Press, a witness tried to stop the dogs from attacking Hardy, and the dogs’ caregiver was eventually able to calm the dogs. After subduing the dogs, the resident of the property provided aid to the apparent victim.
— Mary Ann Redfern (@Carlaumol) December 5, 2015
Before the dogs were calmed, Hardy had suffered extensive injuries to her face and neck. She died later at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak after being transferred from Lake Huron Medical Center by airlift.
The preliminary investigation by the Port Huron police indicated it was not clear why she entered the fenced-in backyard.
— WXYZ Detroit (@wxyzdetroit) December 9, 2015
The dogs were detained by the Port Huron Police Department’s Animal Control Officer and delivered to the St. Clair County Animal Control Center. According to 9 and 10 News, a total of three dogs, including a puppy from the residence, were all euthanized, though other sources state that two dogs were euthanized. CBS Detroit confirmed that Police Capt. Jeff Baker said that two dogs and a puppy were euthanized.
Reportedly, Jankowski says that he could not report what led to the determination that the woman committed suicide. Hardy’s fiance, Matthew Grattan, lives on the same street and says that he does not believe that the woman he was engaged to would have tried to harm herself, according to Michigan Thumb.
“I, in no way, shape or form, believe that she was looking to hurt herself on that day,” Grattan said. “She had a little girl… She wanted us to be a family.”
This was the second recent human death in the Michigan area involving the pit bull breed. As Port Huron considers an ordinance change that would affect breeds, the Time Herald says that the community is engulfed in a massive debate about breed discrimination versus public safety.
Grattan said he’s trying to ignore the pit bull controversy and concentrate on Hardy’s death.
“It’s so much about the pit bulls that it seems like it’s not so much about my fiancé anymore,” Grattan told reporters.
Grattan and Hardy had an 18-month-old daughter together according to most reports, though WXYZ reported that the baby was 8-months-old.
“She was full of life,” Grattan said. “She was my everything. She loved her daughter with everything. She would brighten up the room when she walked in.”
Grattan explained to the Times Herald that just before the incident, he and Hardy had an argument, and Hardy left the house. He said that he believed Hardy cut down the alleyway behind the 10th Street homes and then probably tried to cut through the yard to get to 10th Street.
“Nobody was there, nobody knows what happened and why,” Grattan said, explaining that he heard ambulance sirens and walked to the scene to find that Hardy had been attacked.
Though the victim’s death has been ruled a suicide, the entire incident involving the dog mauling and events leading up to the woman’s death remains under investigation.
[Image via Pixabay]