2-year-old girl mauled to death by pit bull

A two-year-old girl was mauled to death by a pit bull at this Temple, Texas home. (Ed Zavala/KXAN)

TEMPLE, Texas (KXAN) — A 2-year-old Central Texas girl is dead after a dog her family was watching for a friend attacked her.

Temple police say Je’vaeh Mayes died Monday afternoon at Scott & White Memorial Hospital after the late-morning attack. They say the girl wandered into the backyard without anyone noticing.

“I just can’t believe this happened,” said the girl’s aunt, Alicia McGinnis. “It’s just heartbreaking. I can’t believe she’s gone.”

“She was so intelligent,” said Gary Mann, who lived across the street. “The whole neighborhood just loved her. She would smile and light everything up. She loved dogs. And her mother is so upset. She’s doing really bad. We all feel bad because we tried to help but there was nothing we could do.”

Mann said it happened in less than 15 minutes.

“She was gentle to everybody, always smiling,” said family friend Kimberley Isaac. “I just loved her.”

The Mayes family had their own pit bull that neighbors and family members say is friendly, and the kids play with it all the time. It’s unclear why the visiting pit bull turned and attacked the 2-year-old.

The dog is currently being held at Temple Animal Control. It will be observed for 10 days to determine whether any medical issue caused the dog to attack. After that, it will be up to a judge to determine what will happen with the pit bull.

The owner of the pit bull told police the dog had never been aggressive before, and police confirmed they had no reports on file of previous bites by that particular dog.

No charges are currently filed.

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