Deputies conclude investigation into young girl attacked by bear

Posted at 4:02 PM, May 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 18:02:55-04

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office said no charges will be sought against the parents of a 5-year-old girl who was attacked by a bear in Grand Junction.

The sheriff’s office updated deputies have concluded their investigation into the young girl being attacked by a bear in the backyard of the family’s home after 2:30 a.m. on May 13. Deputies said the parents’ actions leading up to the incident were not criminal or negligent, so no charges are being sought.

Deputies responded to the 3400 block of D Road in East Orchard Mesa where the child was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital for her injuries. The family told deputies they went to bed around 1:30 a.m. after waiting up for the father to come home from a trip. 

About an hour later, the girl believed she heard her dog "throwing a fit" and went outside and sat down by the back door. The bear approached her, and as she was going back into the home, the bear grabbed her and "ripped from the door," deputies said. 

When her mother heard her screaming, she went outside, yelled at the animal, and the bear dropped the girl. The father told deputies he believed the 5-year-old was camping outside, but later said that was false, according to the sheriff’s office. 

Both parents said the daughter was inside the home when the mother went to go investigate the noise. 

The bear believed to have injured the child was killed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers between Sunday and Monday. CPW officers transported the bear’s carcass to the agency’s Wildlife Health Laboratory in Fort Collins for a full necropsy which will determine if that is the bear responsible.