New details released from fatal attack on 2-year-old

These dogs were taken from the property.
These dogs were taken from the property.

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A supplemental report released by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office provides new details into what happened the night a 2-year-old died after an apparent animal attack outside his Mt. Pleasant home.

The report explains that deputies arrived at the home at 2740 Highway 17 North just after 8:30 p.m. last Sunday to find EMS putting a naked and bloodied Ja'Marr Tiller into an ambulance and a large crowd of people who "appeared distraught and angry."

The report states one person was heard saying they had "told [Tiller's grand-uncle] those dogs were going to hurt the children and had been chasing them in the yard."

The boy's grand-uncle, Richard Seabrook, told deputies he learned of the attack when his niece and the mother of Ja'Marr, Deandra Tiller, burst in yelling his dogs had attacked her son. Seabrook said he went outside to find the 2-year-old lying naked and bloodied in the dirt to the right of his niece's vehicle.

Seabrook also said he had last seen Ja'Marr about an hour before Deandre Tiller burst in the home and told him about what happened.  Investigators say five people were at the home at the time of the incident.

While an aunt of the child, Octavia Johnson, said Monday that Deandre Tiller had put her 2-year-old son to bed in a room upstairs before heading out to run an errand, Seabrook only told deputies he "had thought [Ja'Marr] had gone upstairs."

Seabrook also told deputies he didn't know Deandre Tiller had left the house.

The aunt also said Tiller must have gotten out of his room and walked downstairs and out the door without their knowledge.

When asked, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon just said investigators didn't know how the boy was able to get out of the house.

As for the dogs believed to be involved in the attack, Seabrook told deputies he owned three dogs. Two of the dogs were secured in a pen near the residence and are not part of the investigation.

Another dog Seabrook claimed to care for was found in the driveway at the time.  Deputies said that dog actually vomited in the driveway, which was taken for evidence. That dog was captured later in the evening around 10:23 p.m.

The fourth dog, which Seabrook explained was not his but often came to visit, was captured around 11:30 p.m. in a baited trap.

Deputies also said a marijuana plant was found growing on the property. It was photographed and removed from the scene, the report states.

No charges have been filed, and the Charleston County Coroner's Office plans to enlist the aid of animal-bite specialists in hopes of determining what exactly caused the child's death.

Coroner Rae Wooten said earlier this week that Tiller died from "blunt and sharp trauma."  Tiller's aunt said Monday that the boy was afraid of the dogs, and tended to stay away from them.

Investigators say they have not ruled out the possibility that a wild animal, like a coyote, may have been involved in the incident.

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