ST. CHARLES, Mo. — A Missouri couple has been charged with the death of their 22-month-old daughter who died in August after the family’s dog attacked her.
The parents, Sharon and Derek Solem, were arrested and face felony charges of child endangerment and allowing their dog to fatally bite someone FOX 2 reported.
The prosecuting attorney said in the indictment that there was enough evidence to prove that the dog had been aggressive prior to the attack.
“This dog had bitten one of the children in the home on a previous occasion, the dog also showed some very aggressive tendencies toward the victim child in this case,” St. Charles Co. Prosecutor Tim Lohmar told FOX 2. “So that`s what raised this to criminal liability on the part of the parents.”
The child’s grandmother tried to pull the dog from 22-month-old Deriah Solem. The grandmother lost several finger tips while trying to save the infant.
The 22-month-old died from injuries to the head and neck FOX 2 previously reported.
“I was shocked, because you would never think that an incident like this would ever occur'” Sharon’s sister Karen Williams told FOX 2. “It was just a normal day turned into a tragic day.”
The dog, a Staffordshire Terrier, was euthanized following the attack. The family owned the dog for 10 years.
“I know it`s a horribly devastating situation for everybody involved, especially for the parents, but we feel like we have to balance that against our responsibility to pursue what we believe we need to pursue.” said St. Charles County Proescutor Tim Lohmar.