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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, June 10, 2001

Pit bull kills boy in Puna

By Karen Blakeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

An 18-month-old boy is dead and his 24-year-old mother seriously injured after a pit bull attacked them yesterday on the Big Island.

Lt. James Kelly of the Puna police said the attack occurred at about 6 p.m. at the family's home in the Hawaiian Acres Subdivision in Mountain View, Puna.

The baby's father, Sandy Hilderbrand, returning home for the evening with a friend, found his son, Tyran Moniz-Hilderbrand dead and the dog still attacking the baby's mother, Luana Moniz.

The dog belonged to a friend and the family was keeping it as a favor, Kelly said. It had slipped its collar shortly before the father was due to arrive home.

Hilderbrand and his friend killed the dog with a pickax, most likely saving the life of Moniz.

She was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where she was undergoing surgery late last night.

Kelly said an investigation into the dog's history will be conducted, and a veterinarian will examine the dog's remains.

No determination has been made as to whether any charges will be filed in the matter, Kelly said.