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Local News

Baby girl killed by pit bull at Fourth of July party

A baby girl died after she was mauled by at least one pit bull at a Fourth of July party early Sunday, according to the Joliet Police Department.

Officers were called to a home on Cumberland Drive on the city's far west side about 1:30 a.m. and found an "unresponsive 17-month-old female with bite marks throughout her body," police said.

The child, identified by the Will County Coroner's Office as Marley Wilander of Aurora, was taken to AMITA Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet where she died, according to police.

Marley was pronounced dead in the emergency room about 3:30 a.m., according to the coroner's office.

An autopsy on Monday showed Marley suffered "multiple injuries due to being wounded by a dog," according to the coroner's office.

Police said Marley's parents were visiting a friend's Fourth of July party on that street at a home where two "pit bull mix dogs were locked in the basement during the party."

"During the course of the night, the parents put the toddler in a playpen in an upstairs bedroom of the friend’s house," police said.

"At sometime during the night, the dogs got out of the basement," police said. "The homeowner went upstairs to investigate a noise and located one of the dogs actively biting the toddler."

The homeowner got the dog off Marley and called 911, police said.

The pit bull was turned over to animal control, police said, and the mauling remains under investigation.

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