ELABELL, GA (WTOC) - The Bryan County Sheriff's Office has released the identity of the 21-month-old girl fatally mauled by seven pit bulls or pit bull-mix dogs on Wednesday.
Authorities say Monica Renee Laminack was mauled around 6 p.m. Wednesday at her family's home on Elm Drive in Ellabell. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bryan County Sheriff Clyde Smith said just before the attack, Monica crawled through the doggie door as her grandmother slept upstairs. Smith said Monica frequently used the doggie door as a means to get in and out of the house.
Five people were in the house at the time, but her 12-year-old brother was supposed to be watching her, Smith said.
Within an hour and a half, the dogs mauled the girl. She had bites all over her body and had been dragged all over the yard.
When the grandmother woke up and heard the dogs barking. She looked out her window and yelled "they are killing Monica!"
EMS arrived and called coroner immediately because they knew she was dead. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday. Smith said he would be shocked if there are no charges filed.
Smith said the girl had been dead a while before investigators were called and that her body was cold.
He said all the pit bulls were euthanized at the scene with shots of drugs because they were the only ones involved in the attack. He said he takes full responsibility for the dogs being put down.
Smith said four generations of the family live at the home. The family had nine dogs - a beagle, an Irish setter and seven pit bulls or pit bull-mixed dogs.
The family said there has never been an issue with the dogs before and they never felt the child was in danger with them, although they admitted at least one of the dogs killed a cat one time.