Coroner: ‘Parental neglect’ contributed to mauling death of Ridgeville infant

METRO -- Andrew Knapp/STAFF -- April 20, 2012 -- Two dogs are taken away by a Dorchester County animal control officer after one fatally mauled an infant Friday morning in his Sandpit Drive mobile home near Ridgeville.

An autopsy determined Monday that “parental neglect” led to the death of a Ridgeville infant who was mauled last week by the family’s dog as his father slept.

But while authorities think there was a criminal aspect to the incident, they have yet to determine whether the father, 28-year-old Quintin McGrew, will be charged.

“We’re collecting a lot of information during the investigation,” Chief Deputy Sam Richardson of the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office said. “We want to be careful and methodical.”

The death of 2-month-old Aiden was ruled a homicide, according to County Coroner Chris Nisbet. The coroner had ordered the autopsy to determine whether anything contributed to the child’s death before he was attacked by the Labrador-retriever mix, but that wasn’t the case.

Nisbet said in a statement that neglect led to “animal eating,” which killed Aiden.

Lt. Tony Phinney, supervisor of the sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division, said detectives are waiting for additional information. Working with state agencies and Solicitor David Pascoe, they won’t iron out any charges against McGrew for at least another week.

“It is a horrible case,” Phinney said. “We just want to make sure everything is in order.”

Deputies were called to the mobile home at 151 Sandpit Road after 11 a.m. Friday and found that the family’s Labrador-retriever mix had attacked Aiden. His mother reported in a 911 call that the baby’s leg was torn off.

The child was pronounced dead a short time later at Summerville Medical Center.

Authorities have called the case one of the most gruesome they have handled.

Sheriff L.C. Knight said last week that McGrew was lying in bed with the family’s other dog and their 3-year-old. Aiden was in a bedroom swing when he was first bitten, the sheriff said.

The boy’s mother, Chantel McGrew, and her 7-year-old returned home and found the bloody scene.

Responding deputies would later report that the four family members were outside the home as paramedics frantically worked the save the child on the living room floor, according to an incident report.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Earlier versions of this story contained a statement from Chief Deputy Sam Richardson that he asked be removed from the story as he believed it incorrectly characterized the position of the Sheriff’s Office on the issue of whether a charge should be filed in this case.

Andrew Knapp is editor of the quick response team, which covers crime, courts and breaking news. He previously worked as a reporter and copy editor at Florida Today, Newsday and Bangor (Maine) Daily News. He enjoys golf, weather and fatherhood.