Mom Will Not Be Charged in Mauling of Her Son at Zoo

Two-year-old Maddox Derkosh was killed in early November.

The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office will not pursue criminal charges against Elizabeth Derkosh, the mother of the late Maddox Derkosh, who was killed in a tragic mauling accident at the Pittsburgh Zoo in early November.

However, District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. is investigating a possible criminal negligence charge against the zoo, according to KDKA.

Elizabeth and 2-year-old Maddox, both of Whitehall Borough's Highgrove Road, were visiting the zoo on Nov. 4 when Maddox fell from the top of a platform railing to the ground inside of the pit area of an African painted dogs exhibit, according to a statement from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.

Pittsburgh police said that the child lost his balance after his mother lifted him in a standing position onto the 4-foot-high wooden railing that overlooks the enclosure. He fell into the pen and was mauled to death by the dogs.

KDKA reports that Zappala has specifically criticized zoo security, training and zoo officials' response to the accident.


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James Dale Barrington November 29, 2012 at 03:35 PM
I'm glad District Attorney Stephen Zappala jr. felt that Elizabeth should not be prosecuted for the circumstances around the death of her son. I still think about the horror she must have experienced. However, the investigation is still in process, and criminal negligence may follow the response of the zoo management/security to the incident. -- I certainly do not envy those involved in the investigation. I just hope that the evidence is clear enough to make the call...


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