4-year-old mauled to death by family's dog

Father reportedly discovered son's body
January 12, 2009 (CHICAGO) The Cook County medical examiner says Angulo died of multiple injuries from dog bites. His death has been ruled an accident.

However, police continue sort out the details of the attack. It is unclear what set the dogs off. The 4-year-old was in foster care and we have learned he was set to be placed with an adoptive family this week.

Alex Angulo's foster family remained behind closed doors Monday, one day after the 4-year-old was mauled to death by the family's two Rottweilers. Police say, Sunday afternoon, the child was attacked after he wandered outside to the backyard of his foster family's Southwest Side home.

Alex was discovered by a foster parent who told police he was out front shoveling.

"I was in shock...not to see that little boy running around again is gonna be pretty hard. He's the same age my son is, and they were going to start school together," said Ibette Carranza, neighbor.

Carranza says Alex was an outgoing little boy who played with her own kids. Carranza says she allowed the boy's foster mother, Maria Hernandez, to care for her own children inside the Hernandez home.

"She was a good babysitter. She was a great babysitter because my kids always came home and wanted to go back to go play with Alex," said Carranza.

Alex was placed in the Hernandez home by the Department of Children and Family Services a year ago. DCFS says the boy became a ward of the state shortly after his birth because of neglect.

DCFS says Alex was scheduled to leave the Hernandez home this week and was to be placed with an adoptive family. DCFS says it was aware the Hernandez home had dogs.

Neighbors say the dogs were cared for. However, they did appear to be dangerous.

"When they saw movement in front of the house they would bark. But most of the time they were kept secured," said Natalia Carranza. "They were very dangerous. You could hear them hitting against the fence. They were always behind that wooden fence. I guess they were trying to bust out."

Neighbors say the dogs did get loose a few times, but most of the time, they say the dogs were secured.

Animal Control says they had not any complaints about the dogs prior to Sunday's attack.

A DCFS spokesperson says there have been no previous complaints of abuse within the Hernandez home. The last time a social worker visited the home was three weeks ago.

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