Man Died of Natural Causes archived
UPDATE 10/04/08: Mason County Coroner Wes Stockwell has determined that Michael Warner, a terminally ill cancer patient who was mauled by dogs in his Parkland home in August, died from natural causes related to his cancer and not from the injuries sustained from the dog mauling. Stockwell said that the ruling was made after a forensic pathologist performed an autopsy on Warner's body.
09/15/08: Autopsy Planned for Cancer Patient
Officials are conducting an autopsy to determine the degree to which the dog attack contributed to Warner's death. The victim not only suffered from severe neglect, but also allegations of abuse. Prior to the dog attack, Michael had told his brother and sisters that his daughter slapped him and pushed him out of his wheelchair. She also withheld his medication, he had told them.
Michael had been incoherent at the hospital for a time and died before the sheriff's detective had a chance to talk with him about the alleged abuse. The family fears the absence of Michael's words will put the case in jeopardy. The prosecutor is still reviewing the case and charges could still be filed in the case, be it for neglect or for owning dangerous dogs.
It's unclear how puppies can be declared "dangerous" dogs. But we hope Bell and Markwith are charged with all that is possible under the law.
09/13/08: Gross Neglect; Hungry Pit Bull Pups
Shelton, WA - Back in August, a disturbing discovery was made. A wheelchair bound cancer patient was severely mauled by unfed pit-bull puppies after being abandoned by his caretakers. Investigators found over 20 dogs of various ages and breeds inside the home. Today, it is reported that 55-year old Michael Warner succumbed to his injuries and died in a Shelton nursing home.
Investigators said Warner's daughter and her friend, both unlicensed caretakers, grossly neglected him. Warner was attacked after he was left lying on the floor of his home. Though 20 plus dogs where found in the home, the pit bull puppies were deemed the culprits. Warner, who was battling advanced cancer, was unable to care for or defend himself due to his medical condition.
"We believe some animals were left behind that were not fed and some of the puppies got to him," said Pierce County Det. Ed Troyer. "Not intentionally attacked him, but used him as a food source. There's just not a nicer way to say it."
The 20 plus dogs were found in the home after Warner's daughter, Yvonne Bell, took him to the hospital. As the quote above states, not all of the dogs may have been in the home during the "time period of neglect" which lead to the mauling. Both Bell and her friend Jennifer Markwith were arrested and stand accused of failing to take care of Warner. No charges have been filed.
06/09/08: Spokane Toddler Mauled by Family Pit Bull-Mix, Mom Skips Hospital
12/10/07: Pit Bull Pup Chews off Child's Foot, Mother Sentenced