A Georgia grandmother has been accused of murder after two pit bulls at her home fatally mauled her toddler grandson earlier this week, PEOPLE confirms.
The woman, Sandra Adams, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and two lesser offenses, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty to children in the second degree, after her 20-month-old grandson died in the dog attack sometime Tuesday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a news release.
According to the GBI, the boy, identified as Paris Adams, “suffered extensive injuries” despite his grandmother’s attempts to shield him and pull the dogs away.
It appears the animals attacked Paris while Adams was babysitting him and the two were outside her home in Hartwell, Georgia, on the South Carolina border, the GBI said, citing a preliminary investigation.
As Adams was heading back inside, the dogs “ran out the back door, knocking Adams to the ground and attacking the child,” according to the bureau.
Adams’ grandson was pronounced dead Tuesday afternoon after she and his mother took him to a local urgent care clinic, the GBI said.
Authorities were notified of the attack after a 911 call from the clinic. The boy’s body has since been sent for an autopsy.
“Anytime anyone loses a child, it touches people’s hearts,” a neighbor of Adams told local TV station WSB. “And I think my wife is still having a hard time with it.”
It was not immediately clear when Adams was taken into custody, though the GBI said the investigation has included “extensive interviews with all family members.”
She has since posted bond, a jail official tells PEOPLE.
Efforts to reach her or the boy’s mother were unsuccessful Wednesday. It is unclear if Adams, whom records show is 70, has entered a plea or retained an attorney.
The GBI said “historical information indicates … [she] had been cited on multiple occasions by the Hartwell Police Department under a city ordinance maintaining disorderly animals.”
Prosecutors declined to confirm on Wednesday if she owned the pit bulls at her home, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
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Hartwell Police Chief Anthony Davis said officers previously responded to Adams’ home for nuisance calls about dogs barking and chasing people and running loose, according to the Athens Banner-Herald. But Davis told TV station WSPA that police had not received reports of the dogs being aggressive.
“I think it kind of shocked a bunch of my officers that something like this happened,” the chief told WSB. “The community seems quiet right now. But I’m pretty sure, and I know right now, the community is in prayer for the family.”
Prosecutors reportedly said the dogs will be put down. The GBI said they are being held in separate kennels under observation.
A bureau spokeswoman declined further comment, and Hartwell police referred questions to the GBI agent in charge, who could not immediately be reached.
The district attorney did not return a call Wednesday afternoon.