EDUARDO AVILA, aged 14 months, died after being savagely bitten by his grandmother’s dog.
Three days of mourning were declared in Layos (Toledo) where Eduardo’s family live, and mayor Rafael Garcia-Patos ordered flags to be flown at half-mast. Eduardo was spending the day with his grandmother when neighbours heard screams and calls for help, said Garcia-Patos. They ran to her house but by then there was little they could do, the witnesses said.
Entering the garden they found Eduardo in his grandmother’s arms and although they saw that he had head wounds, they did not at first realise how badly he had been bitten. Emergency services were called and Eduardo was admitted to the Virgen de la Salud hospital at noon but died of cardio-respiratory arrest six hours later.
According to the people who first ran to the grandmother’s assistance, it seemed that her two dogs, which were penned in, had managed to escape. The dog that attacked Eduardo could have felt jealous, suggested Garcia-Patos, or attacked the child “out of animal instinct.” The dogs, although large, were boxers and did not belong to any of the breeds classed as dangerous, neighbours said.
The family is well-known in Layos and this is not the first time that tragedy has struck. Eduardo, an only child, was also the grandson of Claudio Avila, the Toledo businessman who was kidnapped and murdered in March 1896. This could have been a settling of accounts, it was hinted at the time.
Eduardo’s remains were cremated and although the Guardia Civil is investigating the circumstances of his death, there were no indications that it was anything other than a tragic accident.