JOHNSTON CITY - Three dogs apparently involved in the death of a 3-year-old Johnston City boy were euthanized at 9 a.m. Tuesday, according to Williamson County Sheriff Tom Cundiff.
The sheriff said the investigation is complete, and the boy's death has been ruled accidental.
Gabrial Mandrell-Sauerhage was pronounced dead about 8:50 p.m. Saturday at Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion. Family found him badly injured after he pushed the screen from his bedroom window and crawled outside.
Williamson County Coroner Mike "Junior" Burke previously said the child sustained a number of dog bites, but one specific bite caused him to hemorrhage.
Family members said the child usually resided with his father, Stacey Sauerhage, but was visiting his mother, Michelle Sweeney, and her boyfriend, David Robinson, at their home at 13093 Willow Pond Road in Johnston City.
The couple had three dogs, two pit bull mixes and a collie mix. Police said in a previous statement it is believed the collie mix was tied up during the incident while the pit bulls were loose.
Cundiff said the child was attacked about 200 feet from the home and crawled from the window, which was at the opposite side of the house as the adults' bedroom. The release went on to state that Gabrial suffered at least one bite that would have made "yelling impossible."
"The residence didn't have air conditioning," Cundiff said in a news release issued Tuesday. "Numerous box fans running at the same time of the incident would have made it very hard for the adults in the house to hear anything outside."
Sweeney and Robinson requested all three dogs be euthanized the night of the attack, but the lead detectives called for the animals to be held at Williamson County Animal Control shelter until the investigation was complete.
In a release Tuesday, Cundiff said the attack might have been triggered by a stuffed animal that was found in the yard.
"It appears Gabrial brought the stuffed animal out with him when he left his bedroom through his open window," the release stated.
Cundiff said the family told detectives no aggression "had ever been shown to any family member from any of the three dogs."
However, Amy Fowler, a neighbor, said the pit bulls were often loose and were a nuisance, threatening members of her family in their yard. Fowler said she witnessed Gabrial playing with the collie several times, outside and unsupervised. She said the collie mix didn't seem to cause any problems.
Cundiff said it was unclear whether all or some of the dogs contributed to the incident, although it appeared more than one dog was involved.
The sheriff said he and the department extend their deepest sympathies to the child's family.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Murman and Wilson Funeral Home in Johnston City. Services will be at 8 p.m., with the Rev. Mike Glasco officiating. A private burial will be at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Murman and Wilson Funeral Home, 211 W. Broadway Blvd., Johnston City, IL firstname.lastname@example.org