GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Surgery couldn’t save a Michigan infant who officials say died after the family dog bit her in the head Thursday.
An autopsy confirmed that Susannah Jean Murray, who was 3 weeks old, died from the dog bite, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Murray was left alone in the house with the family’s three pit bulls for about five minutes before a caretaker checked on her, according to police. When the woman checked on the infant, she found Susannah bleeding from a severe head injury and one of the dogs with blood around its mouth.
The child was taken to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital where she underwent nearly seven hours of surgery. She died around 2 a.m. the following morning.
“This is a horrible tragedy, and it serves as a critical reminder to never leave a child unattended around a dog, or dogs, or pets,” said Sgt. Terry Dixon with the GRPD. “Always keep a watchful eye on our vulnerable youth.”
Dixon said the dog who likely attacked Susannah is about 2 years old, and is quarantined – along with the two other family dogs – at the Kent County Animal Shelter.
Neighbors told the paper that they were wary of the animals and had seen them act aggressively in the past.
“Just the breed of a pit bull by itself is not enough to condemn it, any dog can bite something, they have teeth,” said Dixon. “I would say that this serves as a definite reminder not to leave children alone with dogs in the house.”
The GRPD and Child Protective Services are investigating. Dixon says they will give their investigation to the Kent County Prosecutor to review and consider any possible criminal charges.