SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Deputies in Yuba County say a 9-year-old boy was mauled to death by his half-sister’s three pit bulls while she was at work.
The young victim was left alone in a trailer on Sunday with the three dogs while his 24-year-old half-sister went to work around 10 a.m., according to a news release from the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office. The incident occurred in Linda, a community about 40 miles north of Sacramento.
The woman returned just a few hours later to see that the boy had been attacked, detectives said. The boy was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries.
In an interview with KTXL, Alexandria Griffin-Heady expressed grief over her brother’s death.
“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,” she cried.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Griffin-Heady had planned to adopt her younger brother, Tyler Griffin-Huston, who was in and out of foster care following the death of his mother.
Griffin-Heady said her brother did not have any problems previously with the pit bulls.
“He loved them. He laid in the bed with them. He played with them. He wanted one of their puppies,” she said.
Griffin-Heady told KTXL they were not vicious animals: “Never a day in their life.” The pit bulls could be euthanized, pending the outcome of an investigation, authorities say.
Griffin-Heady said she loves her dogs, but her half-brother was more important.
“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,” she said through tears. “It kills me, he’ll never get any of those.”
Child Protective Services issued the following statement:
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of this child. Sacramento County Child Protective Services was notified by Yuba County law enforcement yesterday, January 3. CPS is continuing to work with Yuba County law enforcement during this investigation.”
No arrests have been made.