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Deputies call child's death 'tragic accident' after dogs attack, kill 10-month-old in Johnston County

A 10-month-old baby died on Tuesday night in Johnston County after being attacked by two dogs.

Posted Updated

By
Rosalia Fodera
, WRAL multimedia journalist
ANGIER, N.C. — A 10-month-old baby died on Tuesday night in Johnston County after being attacked by two dogs.

The incident happened on Riparian Court in Angier around 8 p.m. Johnston County deputies arrived to find the father, Scott Winberry, giving aid to his daughter, Malia. Deputies helped before EMS arrived and took over.

The child was declared dead a short time later.

Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said the two rottweilers were family pets. Investigators declared the child's death "a tragic accident."

Bizzell said Winberry stepped out of the room, heard a commotion and then came back to witness the attack.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Scott Winberry and Bianca Patel for the tragic loss of their 10-month-old daughter, Malia Scott Winberry," said Capt. Jeff Caldwell with JCSO.

"Anytime that a young child like that passes, or any child, it's very hard on us all," said Capt. Danny Johnson.

Within 48 hours of the attack, an online memorial fund had raised more than $10,000 to help the family with expenses.

A spokeswoman for Johnston County Emergency Services, where Patel works, said they were "deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Malia," and was "offering support services to the family."

Capt. Johnson said that Scott Winberry was a member of law enforcement, but he did not say what agency he worked for. There weren't any previous issues with the dogs and no other small children were in the home.

The two dogs have been seized by Johnston County Animal Control.

Director Chad Massengill confirmed the dogs have been deemed dangerous by the county.

"It's very solemn around here this morning," said Massengill. "It's very difficult to deal with."

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 Credits

Rosalia Fodera, Reporter
Sydney Franklin, Web Editor
Ryan Bisesi, Web Editor

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