Baby left unattended at least 1 hour, police say

Tuesday, July 29th 2008, 1:12 pm
By: News 9

By Emory Bryan for NEWS 9

TULSA, Okla. -- A 2-month-old boy who was killed by a family pet had been left unattended for at least an hour before his body was found, Tulsa police said Tuesday.

Zane Alen Earles was mauled to death by a puppy after the baby was left unattended in an infant swing inside a relative's home Monday morning, police said.

Tyler Craig, 18, the infant's father, was not home when the baby died sometime between 8:30 and 10 a.m. Monday, police said.

"The baby's father left the residence about 8 a.m. and the baby was fine," said Tulsa police officer Leland Ashley. "The baby's grandfather left the home about 8:30 in the morning and he had put the baby in the swing set."

The medical examiner's report is pending. The black labrador puppy was euthanized and examined at Tulsa Animal Shelter. The dog was estimated to be about 3 months old.

"It was a very young puppy.  We don't know what caused the dog to act the way it did, but all indications are that the dog is responsible for the child's death," Ashley said.

The baby was born May 28 at Hillcrest Hospital in Tulsa.

His mother, 17-year-old Linzy Earles, was in the house with the baby's grandmother.  They reportedly told detectives they were on the opposite side of the house from the baby when the dog killed the child.

"We're looking at it as possibly just a tragic accident that occurred," Ashley said. "We're not looking to blame anyone or anything like that, but the detectives will investigate this case."

Court records indicate the mother filed a protective order against the baby's father in January  2007.  The case was dismissed.