DETROIT (WDIV/CNN) — A Detroit family is heartbroken after a 9-year-old girl on a bicycle was mauled to death by three dogs in an alleyway Monday.
“She was a very very happy child and she’s going to be very very missed,” said Claudia Stapleton. “It’s just something that shouldn’t have happened. Should have been more — they should have been more careful with their dogs.”
Teddy bears, flowers, candles, a skateboard – the makeshift memorial continues to grow for Emma Hernandez.
This was the scene yesterday after she died a most horrifying death.
The vice-like jaws of pit bulls tore her throat and while bystanders and first responders did all they could, she bled to death before anyone could really help her.
“This is her neighborhood. She should be able to be free and do what every kid does. Walk around ride their bikes. They shouldn’t be afraid. To be in their own neighborhood. This is just it’s very devastating very hurtful for this family,” Stapleton said.
Emma died in the alley behind her home. The dogs apparently slipped between two ramshackle fences. A neighbor tried throwing a brick at the dogs to get them to relent.
Stapleton said the family is doing all it can to cope with its terrible loss.
“It just can’t be real like. Things like this are easily avoided. Why can’t people take proper measures to take care of their pets?”
Police said the dogs are being held and quarantined at Detroit Animal Control.
Their 33-year-old owner has been taken into police custody.