In the latest in a series of Pit Bull attacks in Victoria, TX, 4-year-old Kylar Johnson was mauled to death by a Pit Bull after being reported missing to the Victoria County Sheriff's Office at 8:07 p.m. on Sunday, March 25. A search party was immediately formed, and l aw enforcement officers, including K-9 units, neighbors, friends and other volunteers searched through the night for Kylar.
The bloody body of the little boy was found 14 hours later in the backyard of a home in the 300 block of Village Lane. In the yard was a swing set, child’s jungle gym and a picnic table and farther back in the property ten more dogs were restrained on 10-foot chains. The dogs each had a separate shelter, Sheriff T. Michael O’Connor told reporters at a news conference after the grizzly discovery.
The Pit Bull thought to be responsible for the attack is being held in isolation, O'Connor said. After the investigation by the Travis County Medical Examiner's office and a veterinarian is completed, the dog will be put down, he added.
The estimated time of Kylar’s death was not released by the sheriff's office. Investigators are trying to determine how the small child, who lived in the 1100 block of Old Goliad Road, managed to get a quarter-mile from his home and into the yard with the dogs. The sheriff said the department had received several reports of Kylar previously being seen walking unattended down Old Goliad Road, but the little boy was not known to wander in the direction of the yard where he was found.
Sheriff O'Connor would not discuss who else may have been home when the Kylar disappeared, but said the father had custody of the boy. The child’s mother came later to help with the search.
The sheriff said he could not rule out the potential of filing charges against the boy's father, the dog's owners, or anyone else who might have contributed to Kylar's death.
Kylar's home is the location of an accidental shooting death at a birthday party on May 13, 2011. Kylar's father, Cole Johnson, 28, and two of his brothers were arrested and charged with interfering with public duties, according to an arrest report.
Neighbors at an adjacent property told the VictoriaAdvocate.com they generally saw Kylar outside playing in the yard under the supervision of his father. "He was such a happy child, and he enjoyed playing outside," neighbor Connie Carona, 65, said. She added that he enjoyed playing with the family dog.
The Carona family had joined the search for Kylar before 9 p.m. on Sunday and continued searching until 2 a.m. When she heard Monday that Kylar was dead, she said, she could not stop crying, reported Crossfinders.com.
The death also was ruled accidental, although the investigation remains open. A final ruling could take more than a month.
OTHER PIT BULL ATTACKS IN VICTORIA IN MARCH 2012
Victoria is known as "The Crossroads" because of its location within a two-hour drive of Corpus Christi, Houston, San Antonio and Austin and has a population of approximately 60,500. It has experienced a series of pit bull attacks in the past two weeks, according to the VictoriaAdvocate.com:
• Two pit bulls were shot to death by Victoria police officers on March 12. One of the dogs bit a woman's leg as she was walking her dog in the 2300 block of Bon Aire Avenue.
• A woman was attacked by two pit bulls while walking her dog March 16 in the 1700 Victoria Station Drive. Police apprehended the dogs, and Victoria City/County Health Animal Control collected the animals.
• Also March 16, two pit bulls attacked a man walking in the 2600 block of Cardinal Street. The dogs charged police when the officers arrived on the scene. When one of the dogs charged a second time, officers shot the dog. Animal control took custody of the other dog.