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St. Charles County toddler attacked by family dog has died, officials say

St. Charles County toddler attacked by family dog has died, officials say


ST. CHARLES COUNTY • A 22-month-old girl mauled by her family’s dog has died from her injuries, officials confirmed Monday.

Deriah Solem was pronounced dead at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center at 5 p.m. Saturday, according to the medical examiner’s office. The cause of death was listed as injury to the head and neck.

The dog, an 80-pound pit bull mix, had no reported history of attacks or biting, according to police, but the family told police the dog had shown aggressive behavior.

Police said Monday that their investigation has concluded, and no criminal charges are expected.

The attack happened about 6:45 p.m. Thursday at the family’s home in the 2800 block of Essex Street in the St. Charles Hills subdivision. The child’s grandmother, who also lives at the home, was baby-sitting the girl and her two brothers, ages 5 and 8, police said.

Police said Deriah’s grandmother, 58, had just finished feeding the girl and placed her on the floor right before the dog attacked.

The dog was usually kept locked in a back bedroom; it is unclear how the animal got out or why it went after the girl, police said. The dog bit the girl in the neck, face, back and stomach.

The grandmother also was injured in the attack. Police said when she was trying to pry the dog’s mouth off the child, the dog bit her hands, and she lost tips of two fingers on each hand.

In the middle of the attack, the grandmother yelled for the boys to get out of the house, in case the dog turned on them, and to get help. That’s when they ran to Jonathan Banta’s home next door.

Banta stabbed the dog repeatedly with a steak knife to get it to release Deriah. The girl was then rushed to the hospital.

The 10-year-old dog was later euthanized.

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