A one-year-old girl has been mauled to death by a dog at a home where her parents were attending a Fourth of July party.
Marly Grace Wilander was attacked by a pitbull mixed-breed dog as she slept in a playpen upstairs in the home in Joliet, in the US state of Illinois, according to the Joliet Fire Department.
Her parents had put her upstairs to nap in a quiet bedroom before attending the party downstairs, local police said.
The homeowner’s two dogs were kept in the basement but at some point managed to escape and make their way upstairs.
"At sometime during the night, the dogs got out of the basement," Joliet police said.
"The homeowner went upstairs to investigate a noise and located one of the dogs actively biting the toddler. The homeowner was able to separate the dog from the toddler and called 911 where Joliet Police and Fire responded.”
When paramedics arrived at the home at 1.30am on Sunday morning (local time), Marley was still alive but passed away two hours later in hospital.
A Go Fund Me page set up in honour of the 17-month-old has raised more than $30,000 in a number of days.
The page, set up by Marley’s aunty and another family friend, describes the toddler as “the most beautiful little girl”.
“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.”
The family said they have been overwhelmed by the amount of support.
The dog involved in the attack was euthanised the day following the attack.
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