TOPEKA, Kan (WIBW) -- UPDATE--8:50 p.m. (Monday): A Shawnee County attorney is considering charges after a two-year-old girl was killed by dogs.
Piper Dunbar was reported missing Saturday night. When officers arrived, they found the girl in her backyard, underneath a tarp. Officers seized two pit bulls that belonged to a family friend who was staying in the home.
Dunbar's father says he thought she was sleeping inside when he noticed she was missing.
The two dogs are in quarantine while the investigation continues.
Around 8 p.m. Saturday night, police in Topeka, Kansas responded to a house after a 911 call that a two-year-old was missing.
"We looked everywhere, I screamed her name so loud,” said Piper Dunbar’s father, Donnie Dunbar. “Can’t believe that quick, the most precious thing on earth can be taken away from you."
Police began searching the area and found Piper dead in her front yard underneath a tarp. Dunbar said he and Piper fell asleep earlier that evening and that he was unaware of what was happening.
"She figured out how to open a child safety lock with her fingers,” said Dunbar. “She could turn the knob and open a dead bolt that’s on the back door, she was so smart."
Throughout the course of their investigation, police say they obtained enough information to believe Piper had been the victim of an animal attack. Animal control responded to the scene and seized two pit bulls that Dunbar says belonged to Margaret Jaramillo, a family friend who had been staying with Dunbar to help take care of Piper since he is a single father. Jaramillo said she was running errands during the attack and made the 911 call as soon as she realized Piper was gone.
"I saw her from the distance. They wouldn't let us close to see her, from what I understand, they think her injuries were caused by the dogs,” said Jaramillo.
Jaramillo said the two dogs were in the backyard and doesn’t know how they made their way to the front where Piper was. Police are continuing to investigate the case, but both Jaramillo and Dunbar are torn by the loss of Piper.
"She just loved attention and loved to be hugged,” said Jaramillo.
Dunbar and Jaramillo were taken to police headquarters and interviewed by Topeka police.
TPD Detective Brian Wheeleus says the police investigation will be submitted to the Shawnee County District Attorney's office.