Mother to be charged in pit bull attack
Child loses eye
August 13, 2008 - 7:39PM
EDINBURG - The mother of a toddler mauled by the family's pit bull will face neglect charges for leaving her daughter unattended while she went to the salon, authorities said Wednesday.
The 2-year-old remains in a San Antonio hospital enduring dozens of reconstructive surgeries while her 29-year-old mother, Marissa Abrego, keeps vigil at her side, Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño said.
The toddler lost sight in one eye, the left side of her face is paralyzed, her tear ducts don't work and she is having trouble breathing, Treviño said.
"That poor girl will need care for the rest of her life," he said, declining to release the child's name.
Authorities will make arraignments to briefly return Abrego to the area later this week to face one count of injury to a child, a second-degree felony. She faces up to 20 years in jail and a $10,000 fine if convicted.
"I don't want to take the mother away from her child," Treviño said. "Our first concern is the child, but we have to do what we have to do."
Authorities say Abrego told them she left home Friday without telling her fiancé, Daniel Ross, who was in a bedroom. Unattended, the toddler wandered to the front yard of the couple's 9837 Curry Road home near La Blanca.
Investigators suspect the pit bull became excited and sprinted around the girl, binding her with the rope that chained him. When he ran out of rope the dog mauled the girl, tearing into her face and upper torso, Treviño said.
When authorities arrived at the scene they found the child lying on the ground with a "large piece of skin" missing from her forehead.
"It's a terrible, tragic event," Treviño said. "But nonetheless, it's something that could have been prevented."
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Bless the Bullys