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Colton fatal pit bull mauling: Grandmother, uncle arrested for child endangerment

September 24, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 2-year-old boy's uncle and grandmother are facing felony child endangerment charges after the toddler was fatally mauled by pit bulls.

The incident occurred at his grandmother's home in the 700 block of West Citrus Street in the city of Colton. The little boy had been dropped off along with his two brothers.

Erica Vega pointed to where at least five pit bull mixes attacked and mauled the child to death. She identified the 2-year-old victim as Samuel Eli Zamudio, who the family called Eli.

"When I went back there, he was gone, like his face was eaten, his neck," said Vega. "It wasn't him. It didn't look like him."

Vega says Eli somehow got out of his window when no one was looking. It remains unknown if the 2-year-old jumped out or if he was grabbed by the dogs.

He was then dragged several feet from the home to a secluded spot in the backyard where he was discovered.

"The dogs were not aggressive. They were never aggressive," said Vega. "They didn't seem like those type of dogs that could do something like that."

Zamudio was transported to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center with extensive injuries to the upper body and was shortly pronounced dead.

An autopsy is scheduled to determine the exact cause of death.

According to Colton police, the dogs are owned by the boy's grandmother, 42-year-old Eustolia Zamudio. Investigators say the toddler was being watched by his uncle, Marco Zamudio. The two were arrested Tuesday and are now facing charges in the child's death.

"They're being charged with felony child endangerment resulting in the death of a child," said Colton police Det. Ray Mendez.

The five dogs were placed under quarantine at the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter and were later euthanized.

Neighbor Amy Grimes says the dogs should never have been allowed around children.

"It's just an unfortunate thing that people don't take care of their animals and don't take care of their community, don't be aware that these animals are dangerous," said Grimes.

The toddler's grandmother and uncle are being held on $100,000 bail. Their arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

As for Zamudio's mother and father, family members say they are distraught and remain at home with their other two children.


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