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No charges for parents of 5-year-old girl injured in bear attack near Grand Junction

Posted at 4:15 PM, May 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 18:18:29-04

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — No charges will be filed against the parents of a 5-year-old girl injured in a bear attack outside Grand Junction early Sunday morning.

According to a statement from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office released Tuesday, deputies have concluded their investigation and found the parents’ actions leading up to the incident are not criminal nor negligent.

The girl, 5-year-old Kimberly Cyr, had gone outside around 2:30 a.m. Sunday to investigate noises she thought were coming from her dog, her mother told wildlife officials. But the noises Kimberly heard were coming from a bear lurking outside the family’s rural home.

According to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Kimberly sat down by the back door when the bear came around the front of the house and sniffed her. When Kimberly got up to go back inside the house, deputies say the bear grabbed her and "ripped her from the door."

Her mother heard the girl screaming and went outside. When the mother started screaming at the animal, the bear dropped the girl, according to deputies.

The sheriff’s investigation revealed that the father initially thought the daughter had been camping outside in the backyard when the attack occurred. He reported that information to dispatchers when he called 911 and to deputies who responded.

Kimberly was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, where she received around six-dozen stitches, her mother said. She was in fair condition as of Sunday afternoon.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers tracked and killed the bear they suspect was involved in the attack. The bear was killed before it entered one of three traps that had been set.

CPW officials said Monday the bear was about 125 pounds and was likely a 2-year-old bear. The bear was in “fairly appropriate condition” for this time of year, an official said amid questions over whether drought affected the bear’s food supply.

The bear’s carcass will be transported to the CPW Wildlife Health Laboratory in Fort Collins for a necropsy.