Family dog kills infant girl in San Marcos

San Marcos Police Commander Kelley Earnest says officers were called to the 1000 block of Sagewood around 1:30 Tuesday afternoon. A man in his 30's had called 911 saying he'd found his 2-month-old daughter unresponsive with bite marks. Dispatchers walked him through CPR.

"Officers responded, EMS took the child to CTMC where she was later pronounced dead," Earnest said.

Police identified the little girl as Skylar Dean Julius.

Animal control officers impounded the family's 8-year-old German Shepherd who had been with the family since he was a puppy. "As you can imagine the family is very traumatized and upset. They've suffered two losses. First their infant daughter and also their family pet," Earnest said.

Commander Earnest says the child's mother wasn't home at the time. The father told investigators he fell asleep on the couch while his daughter was sitting next to him in an infant bouncy seat.

When he woke up 20 minutes later he found his daughter on the floor, cold to the touch. 

Police say the German Shepherd was submissive when approached by investigators and the family says he's never been aggressive.

"No and that's the thing...the family reports the dog was always good with the child.  Again the child was new to the family but the dog didn't have a history of being aggressive," Earnest said.

Shayan Farideneh lives across the street from where this happened.

"We had no idea.  It's kind of weird when you're in a college town and you see animal control and you see so many police officers, it's like...what could've happened?" he said.

Faradineh says he can't imagine what the family is going through and offers prayers for them. "It's just one of those things that you don't expect and then it happens and there's nothing you can do about it.  It's really sad," Faradineh said.

Commander Earnest was asked if there's anything parents with young children and dogs can keep in mind.

"I really don't have any advice I mean this is just something that's so tragic for both the family and the pet lover or pet owner.  You don't really know what animals will do but I don't think this family had any idea what their dog was capable of," Earnest said.

Police say an autopsy will be done.  It's still an active investigation. 

As for the German Shepherd, San Marcos Police say he'll be impounded for 10 days. They say the family can choose to euthanize him or bring him back home.

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