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Toddler killed by dog in south Fulton County identified

A 2-year-old boy was mauled to death by his family’s pit bull Wednesday afternoon in south Fulton County, police and animal control officials said.

The child, identified by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office as Beau Rutledge, was inside his Sierra Trail townhome with his mother at the time of the attack, according to Detective Melissa Parker with Fulton County police. The boy’s mother told police the attack happened shortly after 1 p.m. when she went to the restroom.

“She advised it happened fast,” Parker said. “It was an obvious death once the mother came out of the restroom.”

It was not known if anyone else was in the home at the time.

The dog had been a family pet for eight years, Parker said.

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“The breed, we believe, is a pit bull,” Oliver Delk, administrator for Fulton County animal services, told reporters at the scene.

The dog remained inside the home in a contained area, possibly a bathroom, for more than an hour after the attack.

“Once we handle the crime scene, then they will deal with the dog,” Parker said.

A neighbor, Joseph Messam, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he heard the screams of the child’s mother, who ran outside of the home and was on the ground.

“‘The dog killed the baby! The dog killed the baby.’ That’s what I heard her say,” Messam said.

Around 3 p.m., animal control employees removed the dog from the home. From there, the dog was transported to a shelter for evaluation, Delk said. The dog’s fate was not immediately known, he said. Investigators will evaluate the dog’s overall health and temperament, he said.

“We don’t know what made it attack the child as it did,” Delk said.

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