CLEARWATER (FOX 13) - A Clearwater Police Department detective was the licensed foster parent caring for a baby who died after being attacked by a dog, according to the Clearwater Police Department.
The incident happened Friday afternoon. Clearwater Fire Rescue paramedics were called to the home of Detective Jonathan Maser, in Clearwater, where they found 7-month-old Khloe Williams suffering from a dog bite.
She was taken to Mease Countryside Hospital, where she died.
Pinellas Animal Services said the mixed-breed dog was being held on a required 10-day rabies quarantine.
The child's biological mother, Shavon Grossman told FOX 13's Jordan Bowen two caseworkers from Directions for Living came to tell her the news about her baby Friday evening. She said she was still in disbelief.
"She's not even big enough to walk or crawl or anything, to even be able to mess with a dog. I don't understand how she was even around a dog that could do this," Grossman said.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said investigators from the Child Protection Investigation Division would investigate the incident alongside Clearwater police.
Multiple agencies involved with Khloe's care have released statements about the baby's tragic death.
The Florida Department of Children and Families Interim Secretary Rebecca Kapusta released the following statement:
The Department of Children and Families is committed to ensuring the safety of all children, especially those in the care of foster parents. Any time a child dies in foster care, the department will conduct a thorough review to ensure the highest quality of care for children in the child welfare system.
Understanding of the high levels of trust and responsibility placed upon them, we are forever grateful to the thousands of wonderful families across Florida who support vulnerable children and make the choice to bring a child into their homes and their hearts.
DCF will support the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office as they investigate this child's death and the department has also initiated a multidisciplinary review team to review this child's history with the child welfare system.
Eckerd Connects, the agency that oversees the foster system in Pinellas County, said Khloe was placed in the licensed foster home on May 15.
"Everyone at Eckerd Connects is heartbroken over the death of 7-month-old Khloe Williams. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who loved this precious child," Chief of Community-Based Care Dr. Chris Card said in a statement to FOX 13 News. "We are fully cooperating with our law enforcement partners as well as the Department of Children and Families. Any questions regarding this ongoing investigation will be answered by the Clearwater Police Department."
Stay with FOX 13 News for more on this developing story.