A 17-month-old girl from Illinois was attacked and killed by at least one pit bull mix while in a playpen during a Fourth of July party at a neighbor’s house.
The toddler, identified as Marley Grace Wilander, had bite marks ‘throughout her body,’ Joliet police said.
The child’s parents were attending an Independence Day celebration at their neighbor’s home party Saturday and had placed her in a playpen in an upstairs bedroom.
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Marley Wilander, aged 17 months, suffered fatal dog bites all over her body in Joliet, Illinois, on Saturday night
Marley was with her parents at a neighbor’s house celebrating Independence Day when the dog attack took place
Two pit bull mix dogs were locked in the basement for most of the night, but they eventually got out, police said, according to Fox 2 Now reporting.
‘The homeowner went upstairs to investigate a noise and located one of the dogs actively biting the toddler,’ police said.
The homeowner managed to pull the dog off of the toddler and called 911.
Officers responded to the scene at around 1.30am Sunday. Marley was rushed to AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center, where she died of her injuries two hours later.
The pit bull mix that mauled the child was turned over to animal control, police said.
Marley, pictured as an infant with her parents, was sitting in a playpen upstairs when a pit bull mix attacked and began mauling her
The neighbor heard a noise, went upstairs and found the dog biting the toddler. Marley was rushed to a hospital and died two hours later
The case is still under investigation. As of Wednesday afternoon, no charges have been filed.
According to her obituary, Marley is survived by her parents, Chelsea Cirino and Daniel Wilander.
A GoFundMe campaign that was launched on Tuesday to provide financial assistance to her grieving parents described Marley as ‘the most beautiful little girl.’
‘From the start this perfect little girl constantly filled the room and hearts of whoever she came into contact with,’ read the fundraiser’s description. ‘Marley loved life and everything she was able to experience. Beyond intelligent, intuitive, and calming, this child has so many traits of a wonderful human being and had a big purpose.
‘Marley was not only the whole world and universe of her parents, but a sign that hope, love, innocence, and purity was always more powerful than the negative. I speak for myself as a father of another beautiful girl.’
Marley is survived by her parents. She was an only child in her family