Law enforcement authorities said yesterday (Friday, January 11) that no criminal charges will be filed against the owner of dogs that were involved in the death of a Fallbrook woman on November 11, 2012, however, five of the eight dogs at the scene of the death have been euthanized.
“As a result of the investigation it appears that this was a very tragic accident and as such no criminal charges are being filed by the department,” said Lt. Harold Holmes of the Dept. of Animal Services, San Diego County.
Killed in the incident was housesitter/housekeeper Remedios Romero-Solares, 30, of Fallbrook.
Holmes said that the owner of the dogs relinquished them to Animal Services and following the investigation, it was determined that five of the eight dogs were actively involved in the death of the woman and they were euthanized. Another adult dog and two puppies were determined not to have been involved and may eventually be released to a rescue operation for adoption.
“These three dogs are being treated for skin conditions and then they will be evaluated again for possible placement through a rescue agency,” said Holmes.
Holmes also confirmed that the owners of the dogs never were in possession of a kennel license for the Fallbrook property on Calle Tecolotlan they were kept on.
Sheriff’s Dept. authorities have not released any further information regarding the separate investigation into the marijuana growing operation that was discovered on the property at the time of the incident.
Agencies continue investigation into case of woman’s death involving dogs
Two area law enforcement agencies are continuing the investigation into a case where a woman suffered fatal injuries inflicted by a number of powerful dogs on a Fallbrook property Nov. 11. The case is two-fold as a marijuana growing operation was also discovered at the scene by emergency responders.
Fallbrook resident Remedios Romero-Solares, 30, who worked as a housesitter and housekeeper, was at the property located at 1305 Calle Tecolotlan that afternoon when she was fatally injured by mixed breed bull dogs that were kept on the property. The dogs were impounded by the County Dept. of Animal Services. An autopsy, conducted by the San Diego County Medical Examiner, ruled Romero-Solares’ death as “accidental,” citing “multiple, penetrating, mauling, and blunt force injuries.” Speculation due to evidence at the scene was that the woman was possibly trying to break up a fight between the dogs when she was injured. After reviewing the case, the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit turned the investigation over to Animal Services, where it is still ongoing.
On Nov. 29, Animal Services spokesman, Lt. Dan DeSousa said the eight bulldogs continue to remain in custody. He also clarified the breed of the dogs as it had been reported in various ways in area media.
“The owner of these dogs was advertising them as Olde English Bulldogges, but they are much larger than the standard size for that breed,” said DeSousa. “We believe he was breeding those with American Bulldogs to make a larger dog, a mix of the two.” DeSousa said one of the dogs weighs in around 105 lbs.
DeSousa said his department has not concluded its investigation at this time.
“No determination has been made yet on any charges and no decision has been made yet on the disposition of the animals (whether or not Advertisement
[ County of San Diego ] they will be destroyed),” he said.
Since the County law states that no more than six adult dogs (over four months old) can reside on a property without the owner filing for a kennel license, DeSousa was asked if a kennel license existed for that address.
“Whether they were licensed to have a kennel or not is part of the investigation,” he said.
DeSousa, who would not release the names of the owners of the dogs, said, “These types of situations are very few and far between – we are going to conduct a very thorough investigation.”
County records show that the owners of the property are Jose Hernandez and Guillermina Hernandez, but friends of the family, who asked to remain anonymous, said the couple’s son Edgar Hernandez and his wife, Evelyn Kaiwi-Hernandez reside there. The couple, who displays their work as weightlifting training coaches on the social media site Facebook, appear to work locally.
Acquaintances told the newspaper the couple sold “dozens of puppies online for upwards of $2,500 per dog due to their potential size and power as adults.” They also said many of the puppies were “aggressive and difficult to handle.”
As Sheriff’s deputies were securing the scene where the woman died, they discovered some 24 marijuana plants being grown inside the home on the property.
The investigation into the marijuana operation has been taken over by the Sheriff’s Dept.’s Narcotics Task Force, who seized the plants.
One investigator told this newspaper that the couple who was living in the home “has not returned since the incident” and is being sought for questioning.
“Marijuana is still illegal in the state of California; having a growing operation of 24 plants is a prosecutable offense,” he said. “We have already brought the District Attorney into the case.”