LIMA, Ohio – A 3-day-old infant died hours after she was attacked by a family dog while sitting in a swing at her grandmother's home in northwest Ohio, a sheriff's deputy said Friday.
The baby girl, Makayla Darnell, suffered a head injury at the home near Beaverdam in northern Allen County at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, said Chief Deputy Jim Everett of the Allen County Sheriff's Office in Lima.
The grandmother, Janette Myers, 44, of Monroe Township, told investigators that the baby's mother had put the infant in a swing while she prepared to feed her, Everett said. The mother, Audrianna Myers, 22, also of Monroe Township, and the grandmother apparently were in the kitchen when they heard a whimper from the infant, according to the deputy.
The two women would only have been a few feet away from the child who apparently was in the living room near the doorway to the kitchen, Everett said. They took the baby to a nearby hospital, and she was then flown to a hospital in Toledo, where she died at about 11 p.m.
The women could not be reached for comment Friday. Their phone numbers were not immediately available.
Lucas County Deputy Coroner Dr. Cynthia Beisser said Friday that an autopsy showed that the infant died from blunt force injury to the head. She said the injury was "consistent with the story I was told of a dog biting down on the head."
The dog is in the custody of the Allen County dog warden while the investigation continues.
Dog Warden Julie Shellhammer said she could not say whether the dog is a purebred pit bull, but says it is at least a pit bull mix. The dog is a male, about 4 years old, Shellhammer said
Pit bulls will no longer be labeled as "vicious" dogs under a bill scheduled to become Ohio law next week.
The bill signed by Gov. John Kasich in February changes current law that defines a vicious dog as one that has seriously hurt or killed a person, killed another dog or is among those commonly known as pit bulls. The new measure removes the reference to pit bulls from the definition and requires evidence to prove pit bulls are actually vicious.
Some dog wardens have opposed the measure because of frequent pit bull attacks. Others have said pit bulls are not inherently vicious.