A toddler was mauled to death after her family didn't notice she had gotten out of the house, and seven of their nine dogs attacked her in the backyard, Georgia authorities said.
Monica Renee Laminack, just 21 months old, crawled through the doggie door of her family's Ellabell, Ga., home on Wednesday evening and managed to slip out into the backyard, Debra Odom, Bryan County sheriff's office administrative secretary, said.
That's when the family's pet dogs — all pit bulls or pit bull mixes, according to Odom — seized on her.
"They started attacking the child, mauled her, drug her all over the yard, took her clothes off, scattered her clothes," Bryan County Sheriff Clyde Smith said in a news conference Thursday.
Emergency personnel arrived on the scene to find the girl covered in bite marks and were unable to revive her, reported WTOC.com in Georgia.
“When we got here and spoke to EMS, they told us that when they got here, she was already cold. There was nothing they could do,” Bryan County Deputy Sheriff James Beatty told The Savannah Morning News.
Five people were home at around 6 p.m. when the mauling happened, according to WTOC.com, including Monica's 12-year-old brother, who was assigned to watch her, and their grandmother.
The grandmother, who was not identified, reportedly woke up to hear the dogs barking; she looked out her window and yelled "They are killing Monica!", reported WTOC.com.
Bryan County Animal Control euthanized all seven of the dogs involved. An Irish settler and beagle that the family owned were spared, Odum said, adding authorities had never been responded to calls at the home before this.
An autopsy was being conducted on Thursday. No charges have been filed yet.
"It's still under investigation right now," Odum said.
It's unclear why the dogs became aggressive with the toddler, who would have turned 2 years old in June.
“She habitually played with dogs, all of them. But they drug her all over the yard. Something turned them on her. We don’t know what,” Smith said, reported The Savannah Morning News.