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Officials continue to investigate fatal dog attack in Johnston City
Monday, June 29, 2009 5:12 PM CDT
JOHNSTON CITY -- As Williamson County officials continue to investigate the dog attack that claimed the life of a 3-year-old Johnston City boy Saturday, detailed information concerning his injuries paints a gruesome picture while the fate of the family pets remains undecided.

Gabrial Reese Mandrell was attacked about 200 feet from his residence, located at 13093 Willow Pond Road in Johnston City Saturday evening. Officials said he pushed open the screen of his bedroom window and crawled outside.

The family had three outside dogs, two pit bull mixes and a collie mix, that were loose in the yard.

Family members found Mandrell badly injured about 8 p.m. He was taken by ambulance to Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion where he was pronounced dead about 8:50 p.m.

Results of an autopsy report Sunday stated the cause of death was accidental, noting Mandrell bled to death from the dog bites.

Williamson County Coroner Mike “Junior” Burke said Mandrell was bitten more than once but it was a strike to a major blood vessel that caused the hemorrhage which claimed his life.

“He was bitten in a specific location that caused his death,” Burke said. “I will say that he was bitten numerous times.”

Burke said it is unclear which of the three dogs bit the young boy or if all three played a part in the attack. Calls to animal control’s office were not returned Monday.

All three animals were taken to the Williamson County Animal Control center and are being held pending investigation by local officials.

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services also launched an investigation into the death. Spokesperson Kendall Marlow said it isn’t the first time the state has been in contact with Mandrell’s mother, although prior investigations were not related to animals and involved another child.

Marlowe said there were no other children at the home during the time of the death.


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wiley wrote on Jun 30, 2009 9:13 AM:

" Cut those DCFS jobs, this is s fine example of DCFS doing nothing. If they do nothing then why should taxpayers keep these jobs? It said this is not the first time the state has been in contact with Mandress's mother, does it matter if the prior times were realted to animals or not, I think not. "

JC High wrote on Jun 30, 2009 8:58 AM:

" Well, it's official another case closed by DCFS stating there are not going to be any charges brought against the Mother! Then they are complaining that their jobs are going to be cut! Any Mother that don't hear her 3 year old screaming had to be either high on drugs or so drunk that she can't remember anything that night! Shame on you and may you live with this constant reminder of the hell your son lived through that night! "

american wrote on Jun 29, 2009 10:05 PM:

" There is nothing in this story that adds up. How can you not hear a 3 year old scream from being btten by dogs? I hope these parents are thoroughly investigated. They had to have been drunk or drugged to not know what was going on. It is really sad that you can still own pit bulls as many people that this breed of dog as killed. I hve 2 neighbors that probably have 12-14 between the 2 of them. I am a huge dog lover but am a firm believer all pit bulls should be put to sleep. These parents should also be put to sleep. There is somehing not dding up with this story. "

JC High wrote on Jun 29, 2009 6:14 PM:

" Ditto rvlady! Nobody can tell me that they couldn't hear the little boy screaming or the dog growling and carrying on outside! Sounds like a classic case of just another irresponsible Mother that wasn't watching her child! "

rvlady wrote on Jun 29, 2009 5:52 PM:

" parents didn't hear child screaming or dogs barking or growing. Dogs should be put down & parents arrested on mansaughter "