GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Kent County Prosecutor has determined that charges will not be filed in the death of a three week old Grand Rapids girl, who was bitten by a dog.
Prosecutor Chris Becker calls Susannah Murray’s death on May 26 a horrible tragedy for the family, but says that Michelle Murray, Susannah’s mother, did not commit a crime.
The investigation showed that Susannah was bitten by one of three pitbull mix dogs in the home while sleeping in a rocking or bouncy seat in the living room of the home in the 1100 block of Kalamazoo SE about 6 p.m. on May 25. Michelle called 911 and Susannah was taken to the hospital. She died about 2 a.m. on May 26.
Police say that Michelle had gone outside for a cigarette with a friend when the attack occurred. Other children were in the home, but in different rooms and did not hear the incident. When Michelle and a friend came back inside, one of the dogs was licking Susannah’s face. When she moved the dog away, she saw blood on the child’s face and called 911.
Becker says that Michelle acted appropriately and has been cooperating with authorities and surrendered all three dogs to animal control for euthanization.
Becker said that the investigation showed that the dogs had not been shown to have been dangerous in the past and that the dog that was closest to Susannah had been trained as a support dog for another one of the children and had been certified by the American Kennel Club as a “Canine Good Citizen.”
Becker says that the legal statute for neither involuntary manslaughter, nor child abuse was met in this case, because Michelle did not knowingly place her daughter in a dangerous situation.