9-1-1 caller in baby’s dog mauling death: ‘I don’t know what happened’

Dayton Police said they are investigating the death of McKenzie Terwell, a 4-month-old found dead at this house on the 100 block of Vermont Avenue. The infant died of blood loss due to extensive soft tissue trauma, and her death was ruled an accident, according to Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger. PHOTO BY TODD JACKSON
Dayton Police said they are investigating the death of McKenzie Terwell, a 4-month-old found dead at this house on the 100 block of Vermont Avenue. The infant died of blood loss due to extensive soft tissue trauma, and her death was ruled an accident, according to Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger. PHOTO BY TODD JACKSON

In a 9-1-1 call, a person says the Dayton baby killed in a dog attack Thursday was found alone lying on the floor and not breathing.

Dayton Police said they are investigating the death of McKenzie Terwell, a 4-month-old found dead in the 100 block of Vermont Avenue.

Police said the baby was attacked by a dog, the latest in a series of dog-related deaths in the region in recent years.

The infant died of blood loss due to extensive soft tissue trauma, and her death was ruled an accident, according to Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger.

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In the initial 9-1-1 call alerting authorities, the caller, while crying, tells authorities that his child is dead.

“I just got home, I don’t know. I just saw my baby on the floor and I don’t know what to do,” the caller said.

The call was made at 11:43 p.m., according to dispatch records. The caller says that the baby’s mother was supposed to be with her, and now the caller can’t find the baby’s pulse or breath.

“She’s cold. She’s gone,” the caller said.

The caller says he has tried to do CPR on the child, but with no results.

“I’m sorry,” the caller says to the dispatcher. “I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what happened.”

According to the audio of the call, first responders arrived at the home a little over three minutes after the call was placed.

4-month-old dies after dog attack at Dayton home

Asked about the information on the 9-1-1 call, Dayton police referred to a statement released Monday and said they don’t have anything further to add at this time. They said they are continuing to investigate the case.

“The animal in question has been quarantined and an investigation into the events leading up to this incident is currently being conducted by the Dayton Police Department,” Lt. Jason Hall said in an emailed statement.

Police did not indicate whether any charges were pending in the investigation. Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office Spokesman Greg Flannagan said Dayton Police are still investigating the case and didn’t have any further information.

No funeral information for McKenzie had been announced by Tuesday afternoon.

The dog attack in the Dayton home isn’t the first time an infant was killed in a fatal dog attack here. In July 2014, 7-month-old Johnathan Quarles Jr. was killed by a pit bull. The attack took place in the 2200 block of Riverside Drive.

The dog’s owner, who was the baby’s step-grandmother, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the case and was sentenced to serve three years in prison.

Other dog-related deaths include in April 2017, when 60-year-old Maurice Brown died after being attacked by a pit bull in the Old Dayton View neighborhood. The dog’s owner was also convicted in the case and sentenced to serve 10 months in jail.

That case prompted Dayton police Chief Richard Biehl to apologize to Brown’s family for his officers in action during the attack for failing to provide immediate medical attention.

Dayton police chief apologizes to mother of fatal dog mauling victim

Neighbors reacted to the child’s death this week. Tiffany Orr said the people who live at the house on Vermont Avenue have multiple dogs.

Orr called the dogs, most of them pit bulls, “mean” and “barkers.”

“They will chase you,” Orr said. “It’s sad. With all the dogs that’s going on, they should have known something was going to happen (to the baby).”

The house has multiple “beware of dog” signs around the property.

“They’re all vicious dogs down there,” Orr said. “It’s scary for my kids. I tell my kids to stay away.”

John Knabe, who works at DCP Tool, a neighboring business, said he didn’t think the dog was vicious.

“It is a really sad and awful situation,” Knabe said. “It was just dogs being dogs. It was very protective of its property, but I wouldn’t say it was vicious. Just a dog being a dog.”

Knabe said the woman who he thinks owns the dog has fences up and does what is necessary to properly contain the dog.

“In this neighborhood, you want to have a dog that barks when someone comes onto your property or near your property,” Knabe said.

Dayton Daily News staff writer Bonnie Meibers contributed to this report.

CONTINUING COVERAGE

The Dayton Daily News has covered multiple fatal dog attacks in the Miami Valley over the last several years.

FACTS AND FIGURES

4months old: McKenzie Terwell, an infant, was attacked by a dog, according to Dayton police.

11:43 p.m. Jan. 9: Time 9-1-1 was called about McKenzie not breathing.

114 Vermont Ave.: House where police responded to find .Terwell not breathing.

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