2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Man Killed by Dogs in Western Kentucky, Three Pit Bulls Suspected

pit bulls kill man Gilbertsville
Brian Butler, 46-years old, was killed in a dog attack; police suspect three pit bulls.

Owner Arrested
UPDATE 07/03/19: On Wednesday, police arrested Daniel Kai Alexander, 29-years old, of Gilbertsville, KY on a felony arrest warrant in connection to dog mauling death of Brian Butler. Alexander is one of the owners of the three pit bulls in custody that were seized after his death. Evidence shows that Alexander "tampered with physical evidence at the scene" on June 29, 2019. Alexander also had knowledge of Butler's body on McCoy Lane but did not contact authorities.

Alexander was charged with Tampering with Physical Evidence, a Class D Felony, as well as Duty of Person, Hospital, or Institution Finding or Possessing Dead Body, a Class B Misdemeanor. At this time, Kentucky State Police are confident that the three pit bulls in custody belonging to Alexander were the only dogs responsible in Butler's mauling death. Police, however, are still urging the community of Gilbertsville to exercise caution toward any roaming dogs in the area.


Daniel Kai Alexander goes by "Kai Alexander" on Facebook. His girlfriend, Tonya Speece, has photographs of three pit bulls on her Facebook page. A male pit bull, named Chevy, escaped the couple's property back in January and was found wandering on the side of I-24 East.

pit bull owner Daniel Alexander

Daniel Kai Alexander, 29, was arrested after his three pit bulls killed Brian Butler in Gilbertsville.

pit bulls kill man Gilbertsville

Daniel's girlfriend has three pit bulls on her Facebook page. "Chevy," (on left) escaped in January.


07/01/19: Sister of Victim Speaks Out
On June 29, Brian "Scott" Butler was discovered dead off of Gilbertsville Highway near McCoy Lane. The Western Kentucky Regional Medical Examiners Office determined the cause of death was "sharp force trauma from a dog attack." State troopers initially seized two pit bulls suspected in the attack. Butler’s sister, Cheryl Roberts, spoke to WPSD and said that she wants answers about his death. “This is a horrendous crime right here, and I want answers," Roberts said.

Police spray painted an orange outline around where Butler was found dead. Roberts said her brother was down on his luck and homeless at the time. He often slept on couches in the neighborhood where he was found, Roberts said. Nora and Randy Nichols, who live one street over, said they might have been the last to see Butler alive. They saw him walking down the road before the attack. The Nichols were so concerned about loose dogs that they installed a fence.

On Monday, police seized a third dog from a home just a few hundred feet away from where Butler's body was found. The canine was taken as part of the investigation, but police do not believe it was involved in the deadly attack. Kentucky State Police Trooper Bryan Luckett said Butler suffered severe facial injuries and had puncture wounds. Roberts, however, questions whether dogs were involved in his death. "He slept with them dogs," Roberts said in disbelief.

Kentucky State Police will likely do DNA testing on the two impounded pit bulls to determine if they were involved in the gruesome attack. So far, no witnesses of the fatal dog mauling are known.


06/30/19: Police News Release
Gilbertsville, KY - Detectives with the Kentucky State Police (KSP) are investigating the death of a man found in Western Kentucky on Saturday night. The victim has been identified as Brian S. Butler, 46-years old, of Benton, Kentucky. Police were notified just after 8:00 pm on June 29 that a passerby discovered a body laying near a local roadway in Gilbertsville. An autopsy, scheduled for Sunday, June 30, will determine his cause of death. The investigation is active and ongoing.

Two pit bulls were found near his body and seized by authorities. Police say additional dogs may be involved and advised residents to be cautious of any loose dogs in the area. Butler's death marks the third fatal pit bull attack in Kentucky this year, including the February death of 1-year old Ashton McGhee in Guthrie and the May death of 2-year old Isaiah Geiling in Louisville. Both children were killed by family pit bulls. In 2018, two people were killed by pit bulls in Kentucky.

KSP Investigating Death of Marshall County Man

Gilbertsville, KY (June 29, 2019) – Detectives with the Kentucky State Police are investigating the death of a Marshall County man after he was found dead in the Gilbertsville community on Saturday night. KSP was notified just after 8:00 PM on June 29th after a passerby discovered the body laying near a local roadway. Detectives identified the deceased as 46-year-old, Brian Butler of Benton. An autopsy has been requested to assist investigators in determining what may have caused the death of Butler. Anyone who may have spoken with Brian Butler over the past several days are asked to contact Kentucky State Police, Post 1 at 270-856-3721. The investigation is ongoing and more information will be released following the autopsy which is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, June 30th.

Preliminary Autopsy Results

On Sunday, June 30, an autopsy was conducted on Brian Butler of Benton. The preliminary diagnoses indicates that the cause of death was sharp force trauma from a dog attack, states a news release by the Kentucky State Police. Two pit bulls suspected in his death were seized and are being held in quarantine by Marshall County Animal Control. Police believe "additional dog(s) may be involved in the attack that resulted in Mr. Butler's death," states the KSP news release.

KSP Investigating Death of Marshall County Man

Preliminary diagnoses indicated that the manner of death was sharp force trauma from a dog attack.

(June 30, 2019) – On Sunday June 30 th, 2019 an autopsy was performed on Brian S. Butler of Benton, KY at the Western Kentucky Regional Medical Examiners Office in Madisonville, KY. Preliminary diagnoses indicated that the manner of death was sharp force trauma from a dog attack.

On Saturday June 29th, 2019 two pit bulls were located in the area where Mr. Butler was located. These two dogs have been quarantined by Marshall County Animal Control until further information can be gathered. The Kentucky State Police are urging the public in the Gilbertsville, KY community to be cautious of any loose dogs in the area. It is possible that additional dog(s) may be involved in the attack that resulted in Mr. Butlers death.

pit bulls kill man Gilbertsville

Orange outline of man found mauled to death by pit bulls on roadside in Gilbertsville, Kentucky.

pit bulls kill man Gilbertsville

Mailboxes seen on McCoy Lane near where Brian Butler, 46, was fatally attacked by pit bulls.

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

Related articles:
05/03/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull Kills 2-Year Old Boy in Louisville, Kentucky
02/11/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull-Mix Kills Baby Boy in Guthrie, Kentucky
01/26/19: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Winchester Mother Dies After Pit Bull Mauling Inside Her Home


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.

2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull-Mastiff Mix Kills 2-Year Old Boy in Newman, California

pit bull mastiff kills boy newman, california
A 2-year old boy is dead after being attacked by a pit bull-mastiff mix in Newman.

Photos of the Family Dogs
UPDATE 07/02/19: Police have not released a photo of the dog that killed a 2-year old boy last week, nor have they released the child's name. But an image posted to his mother's Facebook page two days before the deadly attack show four family dogs. The large dog, a male named "Crash," is the suspected killer. The mother has since removed or privatized these photos. Comments with the photo indicate the family had recently moved into the home on Pine Street.

A June 23, 2019 post by the mother indicates the female pit bull, named Miss Calliope (Callie), had been adopted by the family just days before the fatal attack. "And yes, that makes 4 [dogs]," the mother commented, adding that Callie was adopted from the Stockton shelter. It is unknown how long the boy's family had owned "Crash." Comments also indicate that the new addition to the family's home, Callie, had caused some disturbances that the mother felt had been overcome.

pit bull mastiff kills boy newman, california

June 25, 2019 photo from the mother's Facebook page shows a male pit bull-mastiff mix.


06/27/19: Family Dog Kills Toddler
Newman, CA - A child has died after being attacked by a family dog, Newman police said. The attack occurred in the backyard of the family's home in the 1900 block of Pine Street. Newman Police Lt. Brett Short said the child suffered multiple bite injuries. He was transported to Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock where he was later pronounced dead. The dog was taken into custody, Short said. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department has launched a death investigation.

Fox 40 News spoke to Stanislaus County Sheriff's Sergeant Joshua Clayton. It was "a pit bull-mastiff mix, and it was a family dog," he said "It's just an overall tragic, unfortunate event." The dog was impounded and will likely be euthanized, Clayton said. Julia Hernandez, a neighbor who only spoke in Spanish, said the same dog tried to attack her own dogs. The dog had lunged at the toddler before too. "I've also seen the dog try to bite him," her son translated for Fox 40 News.

Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department

Two Year Old Killed by Family Dog

On Thursday, June 27th at 2:08 p.m. the Newman Police Department and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were dispatched to the 1900 Block of Pine St. in the city of the Newman for a report of a dog attack. The Newman Police Department and EMS arrived and located a 2-year-old male who had been attacked by the family dog in the backyard. EMS transported the child to Emmanuel Medical Center in Turlock. At the hospital the child was pronounced deceased. The dog involved in the incident was the family dog and was a Pitbull/Mastiff breed. The dog was quarantined and is currently in the custody of Newman Animal Services.

The Stanislaus County Crimes Against Persons Team and Coroner’s office were activated to assist the Newman Police Department in the investigation. At this time this incident is only a death investigation.

Our condolences go out to the family of the child.

The Sacrament Bee also spoke to the Hernandez family, who share a fence line with the child's home in the 1900 block of Pine Street. Alejandro Hernandez, Julia's grandson, said he had to place a reinforcement board on the fence after the dog broke through it a few weeks earlier. He said the dog nearly bit his grandmother. The child's grandmother said she was not ready to talk about the attack. The circumstances leading up to the attack are still under investigation.

California Fatal Dog Attacks

Since January 16, 2019, dogs have killed five people in California. Four of the five, 80%, involved pit bulls, including the deaths of, Lana Bergman, 70-years old of Joshua Tree; Angela Johnson, 54-years old of Anza; Crystal Pearigen, 36-years old of Bakersfield; and this 2-year old boy. In March, 2-year old Jaysiah Chavez was killed by two roaming rottweilers in Fresno. No criminal charges have been brought in any case, but four of the fatal attacks involved at large dogs.

pit bull mastiff kills boy newman, california

Reinforced fence seen after neighbor's pit bull-mastiff mix broke through it a few weeks ago.

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

Related articles:
06/24/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bulls Implicated in Attack that Killed Woman in Costco...
03/29/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Joshua Tree Woman Killed by Four Pet Pit Bulls Belonging...
02/18/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman in Anza Pit Bull Attack Dies of Injuries After Weeks...


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.

Central Texas Pediatric Study: Pit Bulls Inflicted the Highest Prevalence and Severity of Dog Bite Injuries (2011-2016)

Study: Injury Prevention Requires "Vigilant Adult Supervision"

central texas pediatric study
A summary of a recent Central Texas pediatric study about dog bite injuries.

View Abstract
Temple, TX - Last fall, the Journal of Pediatric Surgery accepted a study from researchers at Texas A&M University Health Science Center in Temple, Texas. The study was recently assigned to the journal's July 2019 volume. We summarize this powerful study in advance, as critical elements stand out: the number of cases where parental presence was reported (43.6%) and a sudden reversal of gender among pediatric dog bite patients; 57% were girls in this series.

Also last fall, we published two tables summarizing Level 1 trauma center studies characterizing dog bite injuries across major U.S. geographical regions from 2011 to 2018. The majority of them show that pit bulls are inflicting a higher prevalence and severity of injuries than other breeds of dogs. The Central Texas study reports similar findings and echoes results from the pediatric Level 1 trauma center study in Phoenix (Garvey et al., 2015) published by the same surgery journal.

Both pediatric studies report similarities in injury circumstances, the patient's relationship to the dog and that pit bulls accounted for the most severe injuries. In Garvey, pit bulls were responsible in 45.5% of cases with the highest AIS of 3-5 (Abbreviated Injury Scale) and inflicted 38% of all head, neck or face bites. In the Central Texas study, pit bulls were the most frequently identified breed, 36.2%, and were also the "most commonly identified breed to have caused major injury."

Pediatric Dog Bite Injuries in Central Texas

Pediatric Dog Bite Injuries in Central Texas, by J.T. Abraham and M. Czerwinski, Journal of Pediatric Surgery, July 2019 [2018 Oct 31, Epub]

Results: One-hundred and two patients met the inclusion criteria. The mean age was 5.84 years, and 43.1% were preschool-aged (2–5 years). Parental presence was reported in 43.6% of cases, and most attacks occurred in the evening (46.8%). Injuries often involved the head-neck region (92.1%), and 72.5% were of major severity. Pet dogs were responsible for 42% of injuries, and pit bull was the most-identified breed (36.2%). Most injuries occurred while the child was at home (57.8%) and was petting or playing with the dog (28.4%). Intervention in the operating room was required in 34.3% of patients. Major injury was more likely to require operative intervention (p = 0.015) but was not associated with patient age, sex, pet status, or the need for hospitalization.


Methods and Patients

A retrospective review of the pediatric trauma registry was conducted for this study. Patients who were treated at [blinded] emergency department in Texas from October 2011 to October 2016 after sustaining a dog bite injury were evaluated. Inclusion criteria were persons ≤ 18-years old who sustained a dog bite injury and were presented to the emergency department directly or as a transfer from a regional center for continued care. 102 patients met these inclusion criteria.

Of the 102 patients, ages 3 days to 16-years old, 57% were female. The majority of patients were pre-school aged children, 2-5 years old.

The mean age was 5.84 years and pre-school aged children, 2-5 years old, where the highest afflicted group, 43.1%, followed by children ages 6-12 years old, 41.2%. Infants and toddlers (< 2 years) accounted for 10.8% of injuries. In 43.6% of cases, a parent was present at the time of injury; not present in 30.7% of cases and in 25.7% of cases supervision was unreported. 92.1% of cases involved injury to the head-neck regions and 72.5% of injuries were of "major severity."

In contrast to years of pediatric studies -- both large-scale and small -- showing that boys are the most predominant dog bite victims, the Central Texas study showed that 57% of patients were girls. (We saw a similar sudden gender reversal in our 2018 dog bite fatality report. For the first time ever, among ages 0-9, girls were the most predominant, 80%, 12 of 15 victims). The Garvey study also cites a 2013 facial fracture study of 17 patients where girls were the majority, 53%.

The Central Texas study findings show that the evening (5:00 pm to 8:59 pm), accounted for nearly half of all injuries, 46.8%. Afternoon followed (noon to 4:59 pm; 28.7%), night (9:00 pm to 4:59 am; 13.8%), and morning (5:00 am to 11:59 am; 10.6%). Notably, December had the highest percentage of injuries, 14.7%. The spring months (March to May) accounted for the most injuries, 31.4%. Followed closely by winter months (December to February) with 29.4% of injuries.

At least two other pediatric dog bite injury studies (from 1998 and 2000) showed that evening hours accounted for the majority of injuries.1

Though some of these findings are known from previous studies, they are extremely significant. The majority of patients were familiar with the dog, 57.8% of injuries occurred while the child was at home, a parent was present in 43.6% of cases, 92.1% of cases involved injuries to the head-neck region and winter months accounted for 29.4% of injuries. Recall that National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which signals the start of the traditional dog bite season, is held in mid April.2

Major Injuries and Dog Breeds

72.5% of patients suffered "major injury," a classification based on the likelihood of operative intervention or that an impairment of physical abilities would occur. Included in these injuries were 6 cases of craniofacial fractures (a high rate, 5.9%, and comparable only to the 2015 Garvey study, which had a 4.6% facial fracture rate) and 2 cases of major vascular injury.3 There were no fatalities in the Central Texas study, and injury severity was not associated to the patient's gender.

A total of 80 dogs were identified by breed in 75 encounters, 73.5% of cases. Pit bulls inflicted the highest prevalence of injuries, 36.2%, over 3 times more than the next breed, Labrador retrievers, inflicting 10%. Pit bulls were also the most frequently identified breed in causing major injury. Pet dog(s) from the child's immediate family was responsible in 41.4% of cases. Nonpet dog(s) belonging to a relative, 19.2%, or a friend, 17.2%, made up the majority of the remaining cases.

The Central Texas study shows that about 60% of cases involved family dogs belonging to the child's immediate and extended family.

The discussion portion of the Central Texas study focuses in part on two frequent scenarios that result in attacks. In the first scenario, dog owners mistakenly "assume their dogs can be trusted in all circumstances." In the second scenario, parents are not closely monitoring benign interactions, particularly during the evening hours, such as a child playing with or petting a dog, which was the most common injury scenario in this study, 28.4%, followed by "no initiated interaction," 13.7%.4

"Familiarity with a dog should not be considered a preventative measure," states the Central Texas study, "as most victims are familiar with the attacking dog." A shared finding of the 2015 Garvey study, which stated that, "dog familiarity did not confer safety." In both studies, pit bulls were also singled out for requiring the longest hospital stays.5 The Central Texas study calls on "vigilant adult supervision, and a zero-tolerance policy," as an injury prevention recommendation.

Lastly, because the Central Texas study was blinded, authors could not determine the rate of pit bull attacks based on prevalence. The Garvey study, however, could. Phoenix Children's Hospital is located in Maricopa County. Garvey cites a 2012 news report of county records showing that pit bulls accounted for 6.25% of the licensed dog population. Despite this, pit bulls accounted for 39% of all injuries, 45.5% of cases with the highest AIS and 38% of all head, neck or face bites.6

Morbidity of Pediatric Dog Bites: A Case Series at a Level One Pediatric Trauma Center

Morbidity of Pediatric Dog Bites: A Case Series at a Level One Pediatric Trauma Center, by Garvey EM, Twitchell DK, Ragar R, Egan JC and Jamshidi R, Journal of Pediatric Surgery, February 2015;50:343-6.

Of 650 dog bite incidents, 282 met the criteria for inclusion in the trauma database. Median age was 5 years (range, 2 months to 17 years) and 55% (154/282) of patients were male. Pit bulls were most frequently responsible, accounting for 39% (83/213) of incidents in which dog breed was documented. Fifty-three percent (150/282) of dogs belonged to the patient's immediate or extended family...

Among the 11 patients with the highest AIS (3–5), Pit bulls were responsible in 45.5% (5/11) of cases, followed by mixed breeds in 18.2% (2/11) of cases. Pit bulls were also responsible for 38% (11/29) of all head, neck or face bites...

Dog familiarity did not confer safety, and in this series, pit bulls were most frequently responsible. These findings have great relevance for child safety.


Summary

Our nonprofit will continue to monitor pediatric dog bite injury studies from regions across the U.S. The Central Texas and Garvey studies (south and southwest regions) point to family dogs as the primary attackers of children, as do other pediatric studies dating back to 2002.7 Both also note an elevated attack rate in the month of December. The gender role reversal in the Central Texas study of 57% girls is the first we have seen in a pediatric study population of 100 or more.

What should alarm dog-owning parents is that parental presence was reported in 43.6% of cases. Nearly 60% of the attacks occurred in the child's home and 46.8% occurred during the evening. Further, "Medium- to large-sized dog breeds, particularly pit bulls, can cause significant injury to the head and neck region, necessitating medical care at a specialized center, and should not be under the responsibility of amateur or irresponsible owners," the Central Texas study concludes.

meme: central texas pediatric study

Excerpt from peer-reviewed medical study: Pediatric Dog Bite Injuries in Central Texas (2019)

1Evening hours accounting for the majority of injuries was also reported in (Bernardo et al., 2000) 54% and (Bernardo et al., 1998) 41%. A period when parental supervision may be lowered due to household activities, making dinner and more. Unfortunately, this has been documented in research for two decades now and the Central Texas study still shows similar findings. During (Bernardo et al., 2000), pit bulls were the most common breed identified with only 19%. The Central Texas study shows a near doubling of this percentage since.
2In Garvey, the most common months of injury were July and November, during which 24% of injuries occurred. August and December followed, during which 20% of injuries occurred. In our nonprofit's research of fatal dog maulings over the last 14 years (2005 through 2018, which combines children and adult age groups), May and November are the most common months (21% of deaths), followed by August and December (20% of deaths).
3Pediatric studies often report a facial fracture rate of 1 to 1.5%, including (Saadi et al., 2018), a large-scale study.
4Circumstances of injury were known in 74 of 102 cases. The percentages provided (as well as the 28.4% stated in the abstract), reflect a comparison to the overall 102 patients. So 28.4% (29 of 102) of cases involved the child playing with or petting the dog, and 13.7% (14 of 102) of cases involved "no initiated interaction."
5Within the "major injury" section, the Central Texas study states, "Two patients required monitoring in the intensive care unit (lengths of stay: 1 day and 3 days) after sustaining major injuries at home by pet pit bulls." The longest stay in the Garvey study was 25 days after a boy was attacked by a pit bull. Garvey also reports, "The high incidence of operation, fractures, and external genitalia wounds raise the possibility of increased severity of injury in our region compared to others. It may also relate to the high percentage of pit bull involvement in this cohort."
6 The Garvey study examined 282 dog bite patients evaluated at Phoenix Children's Hospital from October 1, 2007 to December 31, 2013. The authors cite a news article, "Dog Registration in Maricopa County. Dog Licenses by Zip Code," published by AZ Central in 2012 for their data. The study states, "In 2008, there were 122,017 licensed dogs in Maricopa County, the most populous county in Arizona. Pit bulls accounted for 6.25% (7,632/122,017) of the licensed dog population, only the seventh most popular breed. Labrador retrievers were the most popular breed accounting for 25.7% (31,377/122,017) followed by German shepherds at 13.8% (16,881/122,017)."
7In (Kaye et al. 2009) 69% of cases involved dogs known to the injured children. "This suggests that familiarity with a dog is not a safeguard against an attack," states the study. Kaye cites a 2002 pediatric study with similar findings.

Related articles:
09/28/18: Level 1 Trauma Center Studies Characterizing Dog Bite Injuries (2011-2018)
09/20/17: Which Dog Breed has the Highest Prevalence and Severity of Injuries in Recent ...
10/10/16: Level 1 Trauma Center Studies Characterizing Dog Bite Injuries (2009-2016)
05/22/11: Texas Doctors Produce Study: Mortality, Mauling and Maiming by Vicious Dogs

2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bulls Implicated in Attack that Killed Woman in Costco Parking Lot

costco parking lot attack - Crystal Pearigen
Crystal Pearigen, 36, was found dead in a Costco parking lot after being mauled by dogs.

Family Speaks Out
UPDATE 07/03/19: The family of a woman found dead in a Costco parking lot on June 16 has been located. Crystal Pearigen, 36, was killed by three dogs -- two pit bulls and a mixed-breed. KGET posted this update on June 25, along with a YouTube video. Crystal led a tragic life, including the loss of her mother, Rhonda Pearigen, who was murdered in 1997. After her mother's homicide, Crystal interacted with CPS, foster care and was later diagnosed with schizophrenia.

When Crystal's name was released by the Kern County coroner's office, the paternal grandmother of Crystal's only child came forward. "All I could think about was how hard her poor little life was -- and then to die like this. It has killed my heart," Jennie Greene said. Greene knew Crystal from when she was a teenager and went to school with Greene's son, who she later had a child with. Greene eventually took over the care of this child, Michael Keen, and raised him as her own.

In the video, Greene painfully reflects upon what the coroner's office told her. "The lady at the coroner's office said that she was mauled and killed -- attacked by dogs," Greene recalled. "And, that Michael would have to come sign papers when we figured out what we were doing. And she said that the coroner absolutely recommended absolutely no viewing of any kind. 'Please, don't put yourself through that -- or your family,'" Greene told KGET while holding back tears.

Michael, who is now 18 and still in school, is trying to raise funds to help lay Crystal to rest.

06/24/19: Mauling Victim Identified
Coroner officials have identified the woman found severely wounded and dead in a Costco parking lot on June 16. Crystal Pearigen, 36-years old, was discovered with "obvious" signs of trauma at about 6:00 am. Police confirmed that three dogs -- two pit bulls and a mixed-breed dog -- attacked Pearigen. The vicious attack began in a commercial area adjacent to Costco shared by several businesses. As the attack continued, Pearigen crossed into the Costco lot, where she later died.

The cause of death was determined to be "multiple injuries," according to the county corner's office. The manner of death was ruled an accident.

Police confirmed that two of the dogs -- a pit bull and mixed-breed -- belonged to a nearby business and escaped prior to the attack. Police have not named the dogs' owner or the business. The third dog, another pit bull, was a stray. Surveillance footage captured by another nearby business showed two of the three dogs involved in the attack, as well as a woman walking alone that may be the victim. Police have been unable to locate any family members of Pearigen.


06/17/19: Woman Discovered Dead
Bakersfield, CA - Authorities confirmed that three dogs killed a woman in Northwest Bakersfield this weekend. According to Bakersfield Police spokesman Nathan McCauley, a pit bull and a mixed-breed dog escaped from a nearby business before the attack and the third dog, another pit bull, was a stray. The victim, who is in her 30s or 40s, is a Bakersfield resident. Police have not released her identity. A bystander discovered her body just before 6:00 am Sunday morning.

An earlier report by the same news group, 23 ABC, said the attack happened in the Costco parking lot off of Rosedale Highway. The woman's body was discovered with significant and "obvious" signs of trauma. At that time, the Kern County Coroner's Office was still determining the cause of death, though police suspected it was a fatal dog mauling. Animal control officers located and impounded all three dogs. Investigators are still seeking witnesses of the deadly attack.

More details were published in Bakersfield.com. McCauley said the business owner surrendered his two dogs to police. One of his dogs was already euthanized for being outwardly violent, McCauley said. Neither the man's nor the business' name was released. The remaining two dogs are being held at Bakersfield Animal Care Center. Both are also expected to be euthanized. The identity of the victim, described as a transient, will be released by the coroner's officer, police said.

Late Evening Updates

Late Monday, 23 ABC published surveillance video provided by a nearby auto shop showing one of the three dogs, which officials confirmed attacked the woman. Police believe the attack started in a commercial area adjacent to Costco shared by several businesses. As the dogs continued to attack, the woman tried to escape through a fence surrounding the Costco parking lot that had previously been slashed. She was discovered dead inside the Costco parking lot Sunday morning.

Jaime Camorlinga, the owner of Central Valley Performance auto shop who provided the footage, told 23 ABC he'd seen the two dogs before. "I've seen those two particular dogs walk around once in a blue moon," Camorlinga said. "I never thought about them as dangerous or anything." He also addressed the fence line surrounding the Costco parking lot. "I think that people cut that fence to have easy access to cross, instead of going all the way around [the parking lot]," Camorlinga said.

Camorlinga later released a second surveillance video showing two of the three dogs, along with footage of woman walking alone that may be the mauling victim. "She's somebody's daughter for sure," he said. "That's got to be heartbreaking for the family." KBAK arrived to the area just after Costco fixed the slashed fence. "They patched it yesterday and they reopened it again -- it was reopened this morning," Camorlinga said. People are cutting through to get to Rosedale Highway.


Other nearby businesses include Bakersfield Kennels, Bakersfield SPCA, auto repair shops, a trucking company, a distribution company, a waterworks company, an upholstery shop and more.

costco parking lot - pit bulls kill woman

From left: slashed fence, surveillance footage and commenter who previously saw the dogs.

costco parking lot attack - pit bulls kill

Businesses near a Costco parking lot where dogs fatally attacked a woman in Bakersfield.

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

Related articles:
03/29/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Joshua Tree Woman Killed by Four Pet Pit Bulls Belonging...
02/18/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman in Anza Pit Bull Attack Dies of Injuries After Weeks...


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.