2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Kills Toddler in the Middle of the Night During July 4th Party in Joliet, Illinois

middle of the night pit bull kills
Marley Wilander, 17-months old, was killed by a pit bull-mix during a July 4th party.

Dog Kills Toddler
Joliet, IL - Another baby is dead after being mauled by a pit bull in the middle of the night. Joliet Fire and Rescue was dispatched to a home in the 1800 block of Cumberland Drive about 1:30 am Sunday. When responders arrived, the child's father was holding the 17-month old girl, who had been attacked by a pit bull-mix, Joliet Fire Chief Greg Blaskey said. She was transported by ambulance to AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, where she later died.

The baby was sleeping at the time of the attack, but the dog managed to get into the room and attack the baby, reports WJOL. The toddler's family was visiting the Joliet area home during the July 4th weekend. The child's family lives in Aurora. Earlier this year, 25-year old Devin White was killed by his own pit bull in Plainfield, about 6 miles away. White's pit bull also attacked three other family members, requiring all four victims to be transported by ambulance to local hospitals.

Middle of the Night Attacks

We do not track the time of a fatal attack. Perhaps we should, especially for ages 0-2 years old. In January, Dayton, Ohio police were dispatched to a home "just before midnight" after a family pit bull killed a 4-month old girl. In 2018, a similar attack to Joliet occurred in Florida. Citrus County deputies were dispatched to a home at 12:20 am after a pit bull climbed into a baby's crib and killed a 6-day old infant. At the time of the attack, the infant was visiting her grandparent's home.

There are many adults killed in "middle of the night" attacks by dogs too. In April, roommates of Frederick Shew, 70, awoke to him being attacked by his mastiff at 10:30 pm. In 2019, Dustin Bryan, 21-years old, was found dead at 7:00 am after being mauled by two pit bulls; he had spent the night sleeping on the owner's couch. Homer Utterback, 52-years old, was attacked by his own pit bull at 1:00 am. Homer had been asleep in bed when his girlfriend "heard something fall."

In 2019, a Central Texas pediatric study reported that parental presence was reported in 43.6% of cases involving serious dog bite injury to patients ≤ 18-years old. The study also found that most injuries occurred during the evening hours, 46.8% (from 5:00 pm to 8:59 pm). During the night hours (from 9:00 pm to 4:59 am), only 10.6% of injuries occurred. This may be true in fatal dog maulings too. Recently, however, there seems to be a number of late night fatal dog attacks.

Toddler in Playpen Upstairs

CBS Chicago reports more information. During a July 4th party, two dogs got loose and at least one of the dogs attacked the baby while she was in a playpen. The baby's parents had placed the toddler in a playpen in an upstairs bedroom. Two pit bull-mixes had allegedly been "locked" in the basement, but "somehow got out" during the night.1 About 1:30 am, the homeowner heard noises upstairs and went to investigate. They found one of the dogs attacking the toddler and called 911.

Also, while we were writing this post, Joliet Patch significantly updated their report. The toddler has been identified as Marley Wilander. "At sometime during the night, the dogs got out of the basement," Joliet police said. "The homeowner went upstairs to investigate a noise and located one of the dogs actively biting the toddler. The homeowner was able to separate the dog from the toddler and called 911." The dog involved will be euthanized later today and tested for rabies.

The second dog, also reported to be a pit bull-mix, was not seized by authorities, according to Will County Health Department spokesman Steve Brandy. It is an older dog and there is no reason to believe it was involved in the upstairs bedroom attack, Brandy indicated to Joliet Patch. Marley died around 3:30 am Sunday, according to Joliet police. The Will County Coroner's Office stated Monday afternoon that Marley sustained "multiple injuries due to being wounded by a dog."

7/6/20 @ 2:30pm - The Coroner’s Office is reporting the death of Marley Wilander, a 1 year old female resident of Aurora, IL who was pronounced deceased on 7/5/20 at 3:33am at the Amita Health St. Joseph Medical Center ER in Joliet, IL. The Joliet Police Department is investigating the incident. An autopsy has been performed today that showed the decedent sustained multiple injuries due to being wounded by a dog. The final cause and manner of death will be determined at a later date. - Will County Coroner, Patrick K. O'Neil

Home where Marley Wilander killed middle of the night by pit bull

Marley Wilander was killed by a pit bull-mix in the middle of the night during a July 4th party.

two pit bulls on homeowner's facebook page

Two pit bulls seen on the homeowner's Facebook page. The right dog, called a "grand/pittie" by its owner, is presumably the older dog. The left dog is not a "mix." It's a full-blooded pit bull.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: Illinois Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.
1Dogs do not get loose after being "locked" in a room, unless they bust through the door.

Related articles:
02/11/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Attacks Four Family Members, Killing One, in Plainfield
06/24/19: Central Texas Pediatric Study: Pit Bulls Inflicted the Highest Prevalence and Severity...
11/14/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull Fatally Attacks Newborn in Crib in Citrus County


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.

2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Attacks, Kills Owner in Jeffersonville, Indiana

Pit bull kills owner in jeffersonville
Donald Ryan, 62-year old, was killed by his own pit bull in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Pit Bull Kills Owner
Jeffersonville, IN - A man is dead after being attacked by a pit bull, Jeffersonville police say. Officers were dispatched to 821 West Larkspur Drive just after midnight on July 1 for reports of a canine attacking a man. The first responding officer arrived on scene to a man "actively being attacked by a large pit bull," states a news release issued by the Jeffersonville Police Department. The officer could not stop the attack using pepper spray and was forced to shoot the pit bull.

The victim is a man in his 60s, according to Detective Josh Shiller. Officers rendered aid to the victim until EMS arrived. When EMS workers arrived, they also rendered aid, but it was too late. The man died of his injuries at the scene. WLKY shows the residence where the attack occurred. This home contains one or more pit bulls that belong to a 62-year old man. The adult female pit bull had a litter of puppies in 2017 and the man noted on Facebook they were "full blooded pits."

The victim has since been identified as Donald Ryan, 62-years old.

On Thursday, the victim was identified as Ronald Ryan. In a 2017 Facebook post, Ryan talks about "adopting a new friend," which is a female pit bull. Ryan notes that she is a "good dog" and "more loyal than the other." One friend comments that "Dogs are better than most humans, loyalty!" An adult brown and white pit bull is also seen in his photo album. It is unclear which dog killed him. But the "Dogs are more loyal than humans" cliché, certainly has an ironic ring to it now.


During the early morning hours of July 1, 2020, Jeffersonville Police Department Officers responded to 821 W. Larkspur Dr. for the report of an individual actively being bitten by a dog. The first responding officer arrived on scene and found a male subject actively being attacked by a large Pitbull. The officer attempted to stop the attack with OC/Pepper spray but was unsuccessful. The officer then had to discharge his service weapon against the canine to end the vicious attack. Jeffersonville Police Department officers attempted to render medical aid to the victim until EMS arrived, EMS was able to enter the scene to attempt to administer aid to the male subject, however the victim had succumbed to his injuries and was found to be deceased. The investigation being conducted by the Jeffersonville Police Department Detective Division is still on-going.

The Jeffersonville Police Department would like to thank the citizens who provided valuable information and assistance that have helped further the investigation into this incident.


Jeffersonville, Indiana is located just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. The Ohio River divides Indiana and Kentucky. Last year, there were two fatal dog maulings in Louisville. In May, Isaiah Geiling, 2, was killed by a family pit bull. Three family members were subsequently charged with a felony. In October, Steven Thornton III, 3, was killed by two rottweiler-mix dogs. Earlier this year, a newborn was fatally mauled by a family pit bull-mix in Lafayette, Indiana.

Pit bull kills owner in jeffersonville

Prior to being killed by his pit bull, Donald Ryan, 62, had one or more pit bulls at his home.

Pit bull kills owner in jeffersonville

Donald Ryan, 62, had a litter of pit bulls at his home in 2017, after taking in a female in 2016.

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

Related articles:
01/27/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull-Mix Kills Infant in Lafayette, Indiana


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.

2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Dog Escapes Yard, Kills Toddler Who Wandered from Home in Hunt County, Texas

dog kills toddler hunt county
Baby Jonah got out of his enclosed yard and was killed by a pit bull in Hunt County.

Pit Bull Kills Child
Quinlan, TX - A toddler is dead after being attacked by a dog, according to the Hunt County Sheriff's Office. On June 29, about 11:10 am, Hunt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 9900 block of Private Road 3820 in the Easy Living addition of Hawk Cover for a dog bite. The first deputy at the scene observed a toddler in the roadway who sustained major trauma due to a severe dog attack. The deputy began CPR until American Medical Response (AMR) arrived.

In the audio dispatch logs from the Hunt County Fire Department Dispatch on Broadcastify.com, one hears the AMR paramedic unit asking dispatch, "Do we know if this is a single bite wound? A multiple bite wound? Do we have any more information on this patient?" Dispatch responds, "It's a 2-year old male, bitten from head to toe. He's not breathing effectively at this time." The AMR paramedic unit then responds, "Let's go ahead and put a helicopter on standby please."

The child was transported to Hunt Regional Medical Center in Quinlan, but did not survive his injuries. Preliminary information from Hunt County Sheriff's investigators show the toddler had gotten out of an enclosed yard unnoticed by his family and walked down the gravel road. The dog, described as a pit bull, was in its yard enclosed in a four-foot chain link fence (an insufficient height for a pit bull). The dog was able to escape the yard and attacked the child in the roadway.

A family member has organized a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help cover funeral costs.

A similar tragic scenario occurred many times in fatal dog attacks during the 80s and 90s. A young child "wandered away from the home" and back then, entered into the "death radius" of a chained pit bull. The "wandering toddler" scenario is no longer common in dog bite fatalities. The most recent deaths occurred in Texas in 2012 and Arkansas in 2009. Both attacks involved boys, ages 2 to 4. In 2010, a chained sled dog in Alaska killed a 3-year old girl under similar circumstances.

The Hunt County fatal pit bull mauling did not involve a chained pit bull, but the concepts are similar. A chained dog in a yard accessible to children -- particularly a chained pit bull, rottweiler, sled dog or wolf-dog hybrid -- is a recipe for disaster. Attempting to confine a pit bull or other powerful, athletic dog breed with a four-foot fence is irresponsible. Even a six-foot fence is not meant to be a barrier "between life and death," but certainly might have better secured this dog.


hunt county pit bull attack

A commenter on the Herald-Banner News Facebook post left this comment.

dog kills toddler hunt county

The same commenter left these comments on the Hunt County Scanner Facebook post.


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

Related articles:
10/29/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Dies After Being Mauled by a Mastiff in Hunt County

Family Dog Characterized as 'Docile' Kills Newborn Twins in Brazil; The Baby Girls Were 26 Days Old

pit bull kills twins in brazil
Newborn twins, just 26-days old, were killed by a family dog in the city of Piripá.

Throughout this post we are linking into Portuguese news articles. If you are using Google's Chrome browser, it will automatically translate for you. In any browser, you can paste the URL into this left box. Then in the right box hit the open icon (a small box with an arrow pointing upward).


Family Dog Kills Twins
Salvador, BR - The Civil Police of Bahia are investigating the circumstances of the death of newborn twins attacked by a family dog in the Bahian city of Piripá, about 637 km from Salvador. The 26-day old twin sisters, Anne and Analu, were mauled to death on June 23. Media reports indicate the mother went to talk to a neighbor at a gate. When she returned inside the home, she found the dog on top of the babies. There are conflicting reports about the dog breed involved.1

The newborns were rushed to Municipal Hospital Maria Pedreira Barbosa. One infant arrived lifeless. The trauma team attempted to revived the other infant, but she did not survive her injuries. The babies, who were born premature by cesarean section, were scheduled to be buried the same day as the attack. The city of Piripá lies in the Northeast Region of Brazil with a small population of 11,000. City officials released a message to the public on their Instagram page.

The Piripá City Hall expresses its deepest regret at the death of the children Anne and Analú, which occurred on Tuesday, June 23.

In the face of this priceless loss, we express our condolences and sympathize with parents Elaine and Régis, their family and friends, in this moment of deep sadness and pain. May God comfort your hearts and give you the strength to transform all the pain of this irreparable loss into faith and hope! - June 24, 2020

The Brazilian newspaper, Estadão, reports that a social media profile for the mother Elaine states she loves horseback riding and describes herself as "in love with animals." Her Instagram page (which we have yet to find) shows the mother sitting on the floor, while she is still pregnant, petting two dogs. The dog that killed the newborns had been with the family for five years and had not previously shown aggression. It is unknown what became of the dog after it killed the twin girls.

Double Fatal Dog Maulings

Double fatal dog maulings are rare in the U.S., and have only occurred twice since 2007. In September of that year, in Iosco Township, Michigan, a pack of American bulldog-mixes escaped their owner's property and brutally killed Cheryl Harper, 56, and Edward Gierlach, 91. The attacks occurred in such a short time span that authorities could not determine which victim had been attacked first. The dogs' owner, Diane Cockrell, was later sentenced to 3.5 years in prison.

Two years later, Sherry Schweder, 65, and Lothar Schweder, 77, a husband and wife, were killed by up to 16 "mongrel dogs" being fed by a neighbor in Oglethorpe County, Georgia. It is believed that Sherry had gone for a walk that evening. When she did not return, Lothar took the couple's car and drove down the road looking for her. When he discovered her, he got out of his car and the dogs attacked him too. Both bodies were found lying next to the car the following day.

Infinite Anthropomorphism

The killing of twin newborns by a family dog is no surprise to us. This was just a matter of time. The anthropomorphism seen on social media today is quite literally being trademarked. Long Bois and the House Hippos is a trademarked business name. The most recent addition to their home with five large dogs is an infant (watch the father bathe the infant in a kitchen sink). The couple not only anthropomorphizes their dogs, but posts many pit bull-infant propaganda photographs too.

In 2018, we were sent one of the most disturbing social media posts we had ever seen. In it, a young mother is planning to buy a canopy for the baby's room (the baby has not yet arrived) and placing the dog's bed beneath it. "I have a 4.5 year old pit bull-mix and the nursery is currently her bedroom, so I'd like to incorporate her," she writes. "Both me and my BF are 100% comfortable with a shared nursery. We've had Roxy since she was 4 months, so we KNOW her." [sic]

We named that photograph file, "No more pendulum," because the nature of a pendulum is to at some point reach a peak of resistance and swing in the opposite direction. In this case, the direction back toward common sense infant and dog safety. Unfortunately, our prediction for greater anthropomorphism in societies, and acts like "incorporating" large dogs into an infant's nursery, is infinity. There are no boundaries or friction. The trajectory is simply limitless.

1One translation states pit bull breed. Another states a "mix of Labrador and American hunter." Possibly a good translation is that an "American hunter" is an American pit bull terrier. Pit bulls hunt more Americans than all dog breeds combined. So far, local police officials have not released the breed or mixed-breed of dog involved.

Related articles:
06/12/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Infant Dies After Being Bitten by Family Dog in Hartford
01/27/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull-Mix Kills Infant in Lafayette, Indiana
07/09/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Sleeping Infant Killed by Family Husky in Hall County