Examiners: Dog attack ruled a homicide

By TOM TIGANI
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK – A Wayne County Medical Examiners Office autopsy has ruled a 5-year-old boy’s death a homicide because of multiple crush wounds due to dog bites.

Kyle Holland was found dead about 9:30 a.m. Monday upstairs at his house in the 1500 block of Empire after an apparent dog attack. Police said the boy wore leg braces to help him walk.

Examiners said he suffered bites to the head, face, neck, shoulder, chest, left arm and legs.

Two dogs belonging to the live-in boyfriend of the boy’s mother were inside the house at the time of the attack, police said. One of the dogs, a 90-pound male German shepherd-husky mix, is believed by neighbors to be part wolf. The other is a 35- to 40-pound Labrador retriever mix of unknown sex.

Police have said that although the larger dog resembles a wolf, a blood test still must be done to make a final determination on whether on whether or not it is a hybrid, which is illegal to bring into the city or into Michigan. They still are working with Michigan State Police to determine the dog’s lineage, and if it was involved in the attack.

“Confirming the identity of the dog is going to take a little time,” Lt. John Martin said Friday. “It’s not as easy as it looks.”

The boyfriend, who police said is not Kyle’s father, is being held for possessing drugs found in his car as part of the police investigation. Officers found additional drugs inside the house.

An arraignment is pending, and police are withholding the boyfriend’s identity until his court date. Debbie Holland, Kyle’s mother, was questioned and released by police.

The boyfriend has a history with the department. He was ticketed in May for having a dog at large with no license, and police were called in November to his mother’s house on Marion on word of two dogs fighting in the backyard.

Two of the dogs in that fight were the ones found in Debbie Holland’s house Monday. They now are being held at the Allen Park Animal Shelter.