Dayton Police began their investigation around 7 p.m. New Year’s Eve when they were called to a home on Findlay Avenue for a report of a child not breathing.
A 911 caller told a dispatcher that he found a dog on top of the baby and that she was not breathing and was unconscious.
“She’s not breathing. My baby ain’t breathing,” a man told the dispatcher.
The man, who was wailing and begging for help, said he didn’t know what happened but that “the puppy was just lying on her.”
Raelynn was taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Police told the Dayton Daily News on Monday that though there appears not to be aggressive action by the animal, a referral “was made to the Animal Resource Center to follow up on the animals in the home.”
“Once completed, the facts gathered in our investigation will be presented to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office for their consideration,” Dayton Police Lt. Jason Hall said in a statement.
The Dayton Daily News requested records from the Animal Resource Center on Monday to find out the breed of the dog and how many dogs were in the home. That message was not returned as of Monday afternoon.
A GoFundMe page has been created for the family of Raelynn. In it, a woman who identifies herself as Chelsea Southerland says Raelynn’s death was an unexpected tragedy.
“Please help in any way you possibly can so that we can lay this beautiful girl to rest,” the page says.
The death of Raelynn was the second time a child had been killed in a dog-related incident in Dayton in less than a year. In January 2020, 4-month-old McKenzie Terwell was killed by a dog in a home on Vermont Avenue.