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Illinois toddler mauled to death by pit bull after parents left her in playpen to party with friends

Sometime during the night, two pit bull mix dogs locked in the basement of the house escaped and one of them reportedly started biting the 17-month-old
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

JOLIET, ILLINOIS: A 17-month-old girl has died after being attacked by a pit bull at a Fourth of July party. Marley Wilander died early Sunday, July 5, from dog bites at a hospital in Joliet.

According to reports, the baby girl was from Aurora, who came along with her parents to Joliet to attend a party thrown by her parents' friends. A statement from the local police said that the parents, whose names have not been revealed, put the toddler in a playpen in an upstairs room at their friends' house before attending the party. However, sometime during the night, two pit bull mix dogs locked in the basement of the house in the 1800 block of Cumberland Drive somehow escaped. They reached the room where Marley was there and one of them reportedly started biting her.

Police said that around 1.30 am on July 5, the owner of the house, who was not identified, heard noises upstairs and went to check. He found one of the dogs biting the girl. The person managed to separate the dog from the baby girl, but the toddler had “bite marks throughout her body”. After the 911 was called, Marley was rushed to St Joseph Medical Center in Joliet where she died, the Will County coroner’s office said. A preliminary autopsy report stated that the child died because of the dog attack.

As per reports, as of Monday, July 6, no charges have been filed, and the dog was reportedly given to Joliet Township Animal Control. Meanwhile, a neighbor identified as Carl Bell, who was enjoying fireworks nearby, said the party at the house continued till midnight. “It was going on three-four hours non-stop to almost midnight. A lot of dogs get out around here, it’s outside. Inside someone’s house it’s their responsibility to take care of their dogs,” Bell added.

In another incident, a pair of newborn twins were mauled to death by a family dog in Brazil. The premature twin girls — Anne and Analú — were attacked by the animal when their mother, Elaine Novais, left them for some time to talk to a neighbor. The baby girls died on June 23, the same day they were scheduled to be born by cesarean.

Reports claimed that the dog who killed the babies was Labrador and American Foxhound mix. The canine had been with the family for five years and has been described as usually docile. However, since the arrival of the twin girls, it reportedly became jealous after losing affection from the family.

On the day of the incident, that happened in Piripá, in the northeastern state of Bahia, the 29-year-old mother of the twins was talking to a neighbor when she heard the babies crying. After reaching the room, she found the dog attacking them. She somehow managed to pull the animal away from Anne and Analú, but the animal had already critically damaged the abdomen of the two. Both the children were soon rushed to the hospital, but one died even before reaching the hospital while the other suffered a cardiac arrest and the medical team could not save her.