Grand Junction, CO - The father of the 5-year-old girl who was attacked by a bear early Sunday morning now says he was mistaken when he told a 911 operator that his daughter had been camping in the backyard alone when the attack happened.
In a 911 recording obtained by KREX 5 News, the father twice told the emergency operator that his daughter had been camping alone in the backyard when a bear grabbed her by the buttocks and leg.
In a news release issued by the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, the father says that, after talking to his daughter, he now says she went out into the yard around 2:30 a.m. after hearing noises she thought was her dog. This is the version of events his wife told Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The Sheriff's Office says that no charges will be filed against the parents.
Below is the complete news release from the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo – Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies have concluded their investigation into the incident on May 13th where a 5-year-old girl was attacked by a bear in the backyard of a rural home. No charges are being sought.
At 2:39 am deputies responded to the 3400 block of D Road in East Orchard Mesa for a report of a child attacked by a bear. The child was transported to St. Mary’s hospital where she is expected to recover.
Deputies learned the family went to bed around 1:30 am after having waiting up for their father to return home from a trip. Around 2:30 am, the little girl heard what she believed to be her dog "throwing a fit" and went outside to check on it. She sat down by the back door and a bear came around the front of the house and sniffed her. When she got up to come inside, the bear grabbed her and "ripped her from the door." Her mother heard her screaming and went outside. When the mother started screaming at the animal, the bear dropped the girl.
Initially, the father thought his daughter had been camping outside in their backyard when the attack occurred. He reported that information to dispatchers when he called 911 and to deputies who responded. The father later reported to deputies that information was incorrect. He told deputies once he spoke to his daughter, he learned she was not camping in their backyard like he initially guessed, but rather inside the home when she went to investigate a noise. The girl’s mother also reported the child was inside the home when she went to investigate a noise.
The parents’ actions leading up to this incident are not criminal nor negligent. No charges are being sought.