Special Report filed by AAF Animal Attack Files Special Report
from the electronic Telegraph

      'Dog attack' clue to mother's death
By Richard Savill

Thursday, November 9, 2000

A 22-MONTH-OLD girl was being cared for by relatives last night after she was found in the same room as her dead mother, who had suffered a fit and was believed to have been attacked by the family's pet doberman.

Kirsty Ross, 25, an epileptic, was found in a downstairs sitting room of her terrace house at Helston in Cornwall on Tuesday night. Her daughter, Kaylie, was sitting on a sofa nearby.

The dead woman had neck injuries. Devon and Cornwall police said it was likely that she had been bitten by the Doberman during or after the fit. A spokesman said: "The death is no longer being treated as suspicious."

It was not clear last night whether the fit or the bite caused the death. Last night Devon and Cornwall police defended its handling of the case, which was treated initially as suspicious. Earlier, officers sealed the house in Moorland Terrace where Miss Ross had lived with Kenny Bowley, her boyfriend, for the past two years.

Her body was found by her brother-in-law, who became concerned when he could not contact Miss Ross. Det Supt Stuart Newberry said: "She was found by a relative who was concerned for her welfare and who went to the house. A baby was found and there was a Doberman upstairs in the house."

Margery Paul, a neighbour, said: "I knew they had a dog but I have only ever seen it once in the last year or two. It was a dreadful shock when we heard that the young woman had died." Another neighbour said: "I cannot believe it. It was really a docile dog."

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2000.

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