2021 Dog Bite Fatality: 31-Year Old Woman Fatally Bitten in the Neck by Pet Pit Bull in Toledo, Ohio

fatally bitten in the neck by pit bull
Emily Kahl, 31, was fatally bitten in the neck by a family pit bull in Toledo, Ohio.

Pit Bull Kills Woman
Toledo, OH - A fourth person in the United States was killed by a dog on Sunday, July 18. Earlier today, the Lucas County Coroner's Office confirmed the death of Emily Kahl, 31-years old. She died due to "bite trauma to the neck, caused by a dog." The manner of death was ruled an accident. Lucas County Canine Care & Control did not respond to the incident. However, director Kelly Sears identified the dog named "Romeo" and said her office has since euthanized the dog.

Public information officer Lt. Paul Davis of the Toledo Police Department identified the dog as a pit bull. The attack occurred at a home in the 600 block of Hamilton Street. The Toldeo Blade, which has a long history of sympathizing with the pit bull breed, provided additional information. Lucas County Canine Care & Control seized "Romeo" on Monday from a relative who had been caring for the dog and Kahl's own dog named "Nash" since the fatal neck biting attack on Sunday.

Romeo's owner, Thomas Holloway, who also lives at the same Hamilton Street home, surrendered his dog for euthanasia Wednesday. The pit bull was put down Thursday. Holloway told The Blade he was not home at the time of the attack. Holloway predictably conjured up the story that the dogs must have been trying to "save her" from someone else who was inside the home. His Facebook page shows a male pit bull named Romeo and a breeding female pit bull named Angel.

In April 2019, while Angel was pregnant, both dogs scaled Holloway's 7-foot fence and escaped the property. Romeo turned up the next day, according to a public Facebook post. It's unknown what became of pregnant Angel. Lucas County shelter records show that Romeo escaped again in October 2019. The dog was taken to the shelter as a stray then reclaimed by Holloway. There were no other reports with the agency regarding this pit bull before the fatal attack on July 18.

In a follow up article by The Blade, part of the 911 call is heard. Holloway is yet another pit bull owner who believed a seizure was the cause of death. "I just got home and I think my roommate had a seizure, fell and hit her head, and she’s cold," Holloway told the operator. When asked about his address he responds: "They know this house they have been here a hundred times." Possibly seeing her neck injury for the first time, he next abruptly states: "Oh my 'effing' God!"

Dr. Cynthia Beisser, a deputy Lucas County coroner, who determined the cause of death was dog bite trauma to the neck, stopped the "seizure theory" in its tracks. Dr. Beisser said the incident was reportedly unwitnessed and that it is impossible to determine if Kahl had a seizure before or during the time she was bitten, reports The Blade. Echoing what this nonprofit has been saying about the seizure theories disseminated by pit bull owners after fatal pit bull maulings for over a decade.

fatally bitten in the neck by pit bull

Emily Kahl was fatally bitten in the neck by "Romeo," a male pit bull seen on the left.

fatally bitten in the neck by pit bull

The home in the 600 block of Hamilton Street where the fatal pit bull attack occurred.

fatally bitten in the neck by pit bull

Thomas Holloway, the owner of the pit bull that killed Emily, was also a pit bull advocate. However, these kinder appearing pit bulls look nothing like Holloway's "hulking" Romeo.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: Ohio Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:
01/03/21: Baby Dies New Years Eve After Man Reports Finding Dog on Top of Her in Dayton
08/21/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Baby Killed by Family Pit Bull in Akron, Ohio

2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Killed by Pack of Dogs in Cocke County; Second Fatal Animal Attack in Area Since April

"Person of Interest" Identified, Police Not Releasing Suspect's Name

cocke county fatal dog attacks
Amber Miller, 29 and Tony Ahrens, 59, were killed in the same manner 3.5 months apart.

Media Names Suspect
UPDATE 07/22/21: On Thursday, WBIR did the unthinkable. They looked into the owner of the property on Carnation Way where both fatal attacks occurred -- our nonprofit had done so on Monday. Charles Everett Owensby, who goes by "Charlie Dogman" on Facebook, has a history of assault arrests, according to Cocke County online court records. As recently as 2018, he was charged with "aggravated assault - domestic." That case remains "open," according to the site.

Notably, we already linked to Owensby once. He was named in an April 18 Citizen Tribune report after discovering the body of Tony Ahrens near his mailbox on April 1. WRIB examined a 2014 criminal charge that involved Owensby allegedly ordering one of his dogs to attack a man. At that time, police were serving a warrant at his home for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, reckless endangerment with a weapon, aggravated assault and violating an order of protection.

The charges were the result of a 2014 "gas station brawl," in which Charles Olden told Newport Police that Owensby approached him with a gun, pointed it in his face and screamed "we're going to end this today." Olden then said Owensby struck him in the face with the hand gun, ordered his dog to attack Olden then tried to run over Olden. Most of those counts were dismissed, WRIB reports. Now, it appears that Owensby's dogs have killed two people 3.5 months apart.

Despite Owensby's criminal complaint history -- particularly how he ordered his dog to attack a person -- the Cocke County Sheriff's Office did not seize his dogs after the April 1 fatal attack or the July 12 fatal attack, both of which occurred near Owensby's home. Neighbors said earlier this week the dogs are no longer at Owensby's home. Who is surprised? The dogs are the central evidence and now that evidence has vanished. It's unclear if anyone witnessed either attack.

It is also critical to point out that the sheriff's office likely knew within 72 hours that the April 1 attack involved one or more canines. If the sheriff's office had initially suspected a "wild animal attack" they would have contacted the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. That agency would have quickly ruled out wildlife and tossed the case right back at the sheriff's office (as we have seen occur in other states). TWRA does not handle domesticated animal issues, only wildlife.1

"Person of Interest"

Finally, on July 26, the sheriff's office confirmed they had identified a "person of interest" in the investigation of two separate deadly animal attacks. According to Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes, a search warrant has been executed, but officials are not releasing the identity of the person of interest to, "preserve the integrity of the investigation" (which has already been highly compromised). Fonts said that no dogs have been confiscated by law enforcement at this point.

A 2014 police report alleges that Charles Everett Owensby ordered his dog to attack a man.

07/20/21: Dogs Never Captured
WVLT provided clarifications today after receiving a redacted report from the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office. Regarding the attack of Amber Miller, three large dogs (that a witness described as "big old bulldogs") were spotted near Miller '"licking the wounds" where she had been attacked. Witnesses transported Miller to a hospital, where medical staff described her injuries as severe. Her calf was "ripped off" and her arms were "barley attached to her body," the report said.

Most tellingly, the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning for those traveling on Jimtown Road, saying to "use caution until the investigation concludes." Since the first attack on April 1, when 52-year old Tony Ahrens was found dead at the intersection of Jimtown Road and Carnation Way, authorities have not seized or captured the suspected dogs -- that is a 3.5 month period. WVLT also spoke to neighbors who said the dogs are no longer at the owner's residence.

07/19/21: Woman Killed by Pack of Dogs
Cocke County, TN - A 29-year old woman died after being viciously attacked by a pack of dogs near the intersection of Jimtown Road and Carnation Way. This is the second fatal animal attack in the same area in four months. On April 1, Tony Allen Ahrens, 52-years old, was also found dead in the area. His body appeared to have been partially devoured by an animal, reported the Citizen Tribune. Police have since been sitting on that case. Now a young woman is also dead.

A comment in the Cocke County Life Facebook group, sums up the horrific scenario. "I'm sorry but had appropriate action been taken with the first incident there wouldn't be have been a need for the public to take action and speak out about what is going on! Everyone has the freedom of speech … Maybe these posts will save another life because I see NOTHING from authorities that states the public is safe and these dogs have been removed from this man or put down!"

Another commenter stated that the dogs' owner is a trainer. "He is a trainer it's obviously he trained them dogs that particular way this is the second time a person lost they life yes he is guilty because he knew what he was doing when he trained them dogs [sic]." A sheriff’s office spokesperson declined to comment when asked if investigators believed the animals involved in the attacks belonged to anyone and if they planned to press charges, reports WATE-TV.

It took the family members of Amber Miller, who was attacked on July 12 and died six days later, speaking to the media in order for the public to learn more information about these two deaths. Miller had "so many wounds that they could not even count them," Miller's great aunt, Regina Jozefek said. Miller fought for her life at UT Medical Center and died on July 18. Meanwhile, the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office said that both fatal attacks were under "strong investigation."

This is a law enforcement failure of epic proportions. Two adults killed by loose dogs in off-property attacks, likely belonging to the same owner, and police move at a snails pace, and make statements like, "The investigation on both attacks is under a strong investigation and long hours are worked each day. The more we put out to the public could devastate the case. We will release as much as we can when feasible but we will not release anything that could jeopardize this case."

Watch Video: Steve Mayes found Amber Miller crying out for help after the vicious attack.

Multi-Victim Fatal Attacks

When a dog pack kills a person, and the dogs are not seized and adjudicated, the pack will kill another person. We have seen this at least two other times -- once in Mississippi and California. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is now assisting the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office in both investigations. That's useless, however, if law enforcement is protecting this dog owner. In 2014, a sheriff's office stonewalled the media after a former police K9 trainer's dog killed his step-child.

cocke county fatal dog attacks

Comments left at a post about the attacks in the public Cocke County Life Facebook group.

cocke county fatal dog attacks

A dog pen seen on the property of the suspected owner of the dogs that killed Amber Miller.

1Several fatal dog attack cases in rural areas (Kentucky and Florida) involved Wildlife officials assisting police, specifically by tracking/locating the suspected dogs on Wildlife cameras.

Related articles:
03/12/19: Criminal Trial Ends for Former Officer Whose 'Retired' Dual-Certified Police K-9 Killed
03/08/18: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Man Attacked by Pack of Pit Bulls Dies; Second Victim of Dogs
11/19/14 : 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: 7-Year Old Boy Killed by Trained Protection Dog in Wisconsin

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Man Killed by Relative's Pit Bull After Climbing Through a Window in New Orleans

pit bull kills man climbing through a window
Police suspect a man was killed by a relative's dog after climbing through a window.

Man Found Dead
New Orleans, LA - A 66-year old man is dead after being attacked by a relative's dog. The man was attacked after he climbed through a window in a home in the 8700 block of South Clairborne Avenue on Sunday around 6:41 pm, according to the New Orleans Police Department. Relatives discovered the victim. He was pronounced dead on the scene by a coroner. According to police, the victim was a relative of the people who live in the home and was authorized to be there.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the man unresponsive with injuries on both arms. The family's "small" pit bull was found inside the home with blood on its body, reports WVUE. Police believe the man, whose identity has not been released, "was possibly attacked by a dog inside" after he climbed through the window, reports NOLA. The cause of death remains under investigation. The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals confiscated the dog.

Last month, a 3-year old boy fell out of a rear second story window of a home in Elizabeth, New Jersey and was subsequently mauled to death by his family's two pit bulls that were in the fenced-in backyard. The New Orleans attack appears to be an opposite scenario involving an adult male. Both cases contain unusual circumstances. Additionally, a "small" pit bull could indicate several possibilities, including a young pit bull or a pit bull designer breed, such as a pocket bully.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: Louisiana Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:
06/10/21: 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Child Dies After Falling from Window, Mauled by Pit Bulls...
03/19/21: 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Pocket Bully Inflicts Bite to Head, Killing Baby Girl in Illinois

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman, 59, Killed by Pair of Family Pit Bulls in Westside El Paso Home

Pit bulls kill el paso woman
A 59-year old woman was attacked and killed by two family pit bulls in El Paso.

Pit Bulls Kill Woman
El Paso, TX - A 59-year old woman is dead after being attacked by a pair of family pit bulls, according to police. Her death was discovered Sunday at about 6:00 pm at 7240 Royal Arms Drive. "A woman having just arrived home discovered the body of her mother being mauled by the family dogs," El Paso Police wrote in an incident report released Monday. "The investigation is ongoing, but all indications are that the two pit bull dogs killed the woman," police stated.

According to detectives investigating her death, the dogs appeared to have been well cared for and had plenty of food and water. There were no signs of neglect. The identity of the victim was not released by police. The last fatal dog mauling in El Paso involved a pack of neglected dogs killing a 4-year old boy in 2017. His parents were later charged with felony injury to a child. More recently, KFOX covered the demise of Luke Westerman, who still faces 19 felony counts in Ohio.

pair of pit bulls el paso kill woman

The front door of the home shows it is a duplex with A and B units on Royal Arms Drive.

pair of pit bulls el paso kills woman

A neighbor told KVIA the brown and black pit bulls acted aggressive behind the owner's fence.

Join Texas Dog Bite Victims' Advocacy - Join our Texas email list to stay informed

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google State Map: Texas Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

Related articles:
02/10/19: Unmasking a Con: How a Sudden Pit Bull Activist Parleyed Role into Top Job...
09/30/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Pack of Family Dogs Attack and Kill 4-Year Old Boy in El Paso

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.