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Neglect accusation filed against mother

Oklahoman Modified: August 5, 2008 at 3:19 pm •  Published: August 5, 2008
TULSA -- A police affidavit alleges child neglect by a 17-year-old mother whose 2-month-old son was mauled to death by a family pet.

Police in Tulsa allege that Linzy Earles has a history of drug abuse and was neglectful when her baby, Zane Earles, was eaten alive by a black Labrador puppy at the home of his mother and grandparents, Stan and Holly Earles, on July 28.

The affidavit says police received a call from the Emergency Medical Services Authority about a reported dog mauling at the home.

When officers arrived, they found that Zane, who had been left unattended in a baby swing for about two hours, had suffered multiple dog bites and had been eaten alive by the puppy. Authorities pronounced the baby dead at the scene.

When the mauling occurred, Linzy Earles was asleep in her bedroom 65 to 85 feet away from her son at the other end of the house, according to the affidavit. Initial reports indicated that the baby's grandmother was also asleep on the far side of the home. His father and grandfather had left the home earlier that morning.

The affidavit indicates that Linzy Earles was taken off juvenile probation on June 2nd for drug charges.

Police have obtained a search warrant to retrieve blood and hair samples from her to determine whether she was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics during the time that her baby was left unattended and eaten alive, according to the affidavit.

A positive drug test could indicate why she was unable to hear the baby's screams when he was being mauled, according to the affidavit.

Police have also obtained a search warrant to conduct a decibel test at the home to find out whether the baby's screams could have been heard from the other end of the house and to collect any bodily fluids that may have been left by the dog when it walked through the home after killing the baby.

The Labrador was taken to the Tulsa Animal Shelter, where it was euthanized at the request of police so that evidence could be recovered from it, Officer Leland Ashley said last week.

It could be several weeks before all of the tests connected to the case are conducted and a report is completed by the state Medical Examiner's Office.

Family members have declined interviews and have not returned phone calls.

Police have been called to their home three times previously since May 2007.

In May and June last year, police were dispatched there to investigate reports about a runaway.

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