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Head injuries killed baby in attack by dog

BEAVERDAM, Ohio -- A 3-day-old baby who was attacked by the family dog died of blunt-force injuries to the head, a deputy Lucas County coroner ruled Friday.

Dr. Cynthia Beisser conducted the autopsy on Makayla Darnell, who was attacked Thursday while she lay in a swing in her family's living room in northern Allen County.

Her mother, identified as Audrianna Myers, and the infant's grandmother were in the kitchen. The father, Jared Darnell, was not home.

"The injuries are consistent with a dog biting the child," Dr. Beisser said.

After the attack, which occurred about 6:30 p.m., the baby was driven from the home on North Thayer Road in Monroe Township to Blanchard Valley Hospital, according to Steve Kahle, a Lucas County coroner's investigator. The baby was flown from there to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, where she was pronounced dead shortly after 11 p.m.

Mr. Kahle said family members said they never heard a sound from either the dog or the baby. "It all appeared to happen in a matter of seconds," he said.

The male dog, about 4 or 5 years old, was thought to be the family's only dog, authorities said. It was taken into custody by the Allen County Dog Warden's Office. "I'll quarantine it for 10 days, as any dog that bites, per state law. After that, it's up to the judge," Dog Warden Julie Shellhammer said. She said the dog "appears to be a 'pit-bull' mix."

Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish said the case is being investigated by sheriff's Detective Mark Murphy and it is too early to know whether charges will be filed.

Staff writers Mike Sigov, Jane Schmucker, and Ignazio Messina compiled this report.

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