Dogs blamed in death

  • 2000-01-20
  • By Kairi Kurm
TALLINN - On Sunday, Jan.16, an eight-year-old boy was found dead in
Tartu. Whether he had been killed and then eaten by the dogs of an
elderly neighbor woman Yevgenia, authorities were trying to determine
this week.

On Jan. 16 a former serviceman, Gennady, 62, found the half-clothed
body of the boy in the so-called Chinatown in Tartu.

The region, once occupied by Russian soldiers, looks quite deserted
in some parts. Tumbledown summer cabins, fences and garages, surround
the place where the incident happened on Saturday night. Some
neighbors said they heard barking at night. The body found was bitten
on the neck, and partially dismembered.

The autopsy revealed that death resulted from a neck injury. Other
injuries were made later," said Peeter Rehema of Tartu Police

The police killed Yevgenia's two aggressive dogs on the spot during
the investigation and took eight dogs for further examination.
Yevgenia kept about twenty dogs in her garden, none of which were
registered or vaccinated. She could not understand why her dogs would
have killed a boy, the Estonian daily Postimees reported. She
claimed she had fed them well.

Experts found human remains in the stomachs of the dogs that were destroyed.

According to the Estonian dailyEesti Paevaleht, veterinarian Ain
Erkmaa believes the boy was killed before the dogs started biting
him. He said the dogs looked as though they had been fed properly,
and they were not of an aggressive type. The veterinarian also said
the dogs are not capable of taking off trousers from a human being.
Rehema said that the boy's clothes had signs of tearing, and he
believes that it is possible to take off clothes from a reclining
body. Rehema said that there are two versions of the incident: Either
the dogs killed the boy, or the boy had frozen before the dogs
started biting him.

The boy's name was Yevgeni and he lived with his mother nearby on
Jaama Street. Although he had had problems at home with his mother,
Rehema believes that it had nothing to do with the investigation.
Whether he climbed over the fence or was of a vagabond type, the fact
is that the dogs attacked a human being, Rehema said.

Who is to blame for the death?

"It is difficult to say who is responsible," said Rehema.
"Theoretically, prosecution is possible for carelessness which causes
death. If one wants to keep a dog, one should prevent it from harming
people,"said Rehema. "Such incidents have never happened in Estonia
before. We don't have any precedent to follow. "