Rebecca Hardy’s mauling was ruled a suicide by a Michigan judge earlier this week. The 22-year-old mother died December 3, after receiving multiple face and neck injuries as a result of climbing into a pen containing pit bulls.
Detroit Free Press noted that Oakland County Medical Examiner Ljubisa Dragovic said in determining the mauling a suicide, his office discovered that Hardy had been kicked out of her house and had a history of suicide attempts. In addition, Hardy was aware that the pit bulls were dangerous.
“These were attack dogs. These were vicious dogs in an enclosed space,” Dragovic said.
Port Huron police captain Jeff Baker explained that dogs that typically show viciousness are usually considered for euthanizing.
“That’s a dog that’s not just protecting its domain,” Baker said, according to Detroit Free Press.
Surprisingly, in ruling the mauling a suicide, investigators reported that Hardy had avoided the dogs in the past because she had known that they were attack dogs. However, the medical examiner said that due to Hardy’s prior suicide attempts, it was logical for the mauling to be ruled a suicide.
“She did not get through a gate or through the front door of the house – and that clearly is a purposeful act. It’s akin to someone jumping into a cage with tigers or lions at a zoo,” Dragovic said, according to People.
Dragovic also noted that while toxicology reports were still pending regarding the mauling, it should still be ruled a suicide. He said because of her history and the fact that this seemed to be a purposeful act, it would not really matter what the toxicology report said.
Hardy’s fiance Matthew Grattan, however, does not believe the mauling should be ruled a suicide. He said that Hardy wanted them to be a family, and believes that she had cut through the yard in an effort to get home.
According to The Times Herald, Grattan and Hardy had a dispute at his residence prior to the mauling, and that she had left the house. He said he only walked to the residence where the mauling had occurred when he heard sirens going off. In learning the mauling would be ruled a suicide, he said Hardy wanted to be a mother and for them to be together; he did not think she intended to commit suicide.
“I, in no way, shape or form believe that she was looking to hurt herself on that day,” Grattan said, according to the New York Daily News.
The day after the dog mauling, two dogs and a puppy were euthanized. The dogs’ owner has reportedly been very cooperative with police throughout the investigation.
According to a GoFundMe page, which was established to deal with upcoming expenses in addition to setting aside money for Hardy’s 18-month-old daughter Molly, Grattan remembered his fiance as someone who “was full of life and she loved her daughter with everything. She would brighten up the room when she walked in.”
In determining that the mauling should be ruled a suicide, the medical examiner said that the overriding factor was that Hardy apparently made the decision to climb in to where the dogs were penned up, regardless of whether or not she was intoxicated.
A witness to the incident tried to help Hardy, but was unable to. The help of the owner was then sought. Hardy was later airlifted to Beaumont Hospital, where she died due to the extent of her injuries.
While Grattan said he was aware of the controversy surrounding whether the mauling should be ruled a suicide, he did not want to focus on the fact that his fiance was mauled by pit bulls.
“It’s so much about the pit bulls that it seems like it’s not so much about my fiance anymore,” Grattan said of the mauling that was ruled a suicide.
[Feature image courtesy of Huffington Post]