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“I failed him:” Nine-year-old boy left home alone while sister went to work mauled to death by her dogs

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LINDA, California — A nine-year-old boy left at home while his sister went to work was mauled to death by her dogs.

Neighbors say Alexandria Griffin-Heady recently moved into a small trailer in Linda, California.

Neighbors say she wanted to better her life, and eventually pull her little brother out of the foster care system. But on Sunday morning, January 3rd, investigators say she left him home alone with her three pit bulls.

Nine-year-old Tyler Trammell Huston was killed.

“With the circumstances — of Ally not being mature enough — not able to handle a nine-year-old. She’s just barely 24 — 25 herself,” Donald Thorpe, the boy’s uncle said.

Thorpe says the boy lived a hard life. He was in and out of foster homes after his mother died of a drug overdose — homeless on the streets of Sacramento.

Thorpe says the boy’s sister recently moved into the trailer in California from Florida. She got approved for weekend visits with her brother with the goal of later adopting him.

She returned from work on Sunday to find her little brother mauled to death.

“It was just a horrific, tragic accident,” Stephanie Harvey, Alexandria Griffin-Heady’s adoptive mother said. “She changed her life, gave up everything to do that for him. You can’t even imagine what shes going through. You have no idea.”

Griffin-Heady was too distraught to come out of her trailer on Monday and talk about what happened.

Investigators say she is cooperating. They say she could face child endangerment charges in this case.

But even for investigators, the details of this case don’t sit well.

“I don’t know. This one seems to have affected me most. The child being home alone and just had to have been terrified of what took place,” Jerry Read, Yolo County undersheriff said.

Neighbors say what happened makes no sense.

“She was always very pleasant — a very nice person,” Dewayne Daniel said.

Daniel says the last time he looked over his neighbor was playing with her dogs.

Now, there’s a sign out front reading “family in mourning.”

The pit bulls were taken from the trailer and are now with animal services. Investigators say they will likely be euthanized.

FOX 40 in Sacramento spoke with Alexandria Griffin-Heady, the nine-year-old boy’s half-sister and owner of the dogs.

“I failed him, whether it’s my fault, my dogs’ fault, whoever’s fault. I wanted to protect him, and I wanted to give him an amazing life,” Griffin-Heady told FOX40.

Griffin-Heady said she never thought what happened with her dogs would happen.

“He loved them. He laid in the bed with them. He played with them. He wanted one of their puppies,” Griffin-Heady said.

Griffin-Heady said her goal was to get her brother out of the foster care system.

“His only wish for Christmas was to have a mom, I so badly wanted to be that person for him,” Griffin-Heady told FOX40. “He’ll never get to drive a car. He’ll never get to have a first kiss. He’ll never get to graduate. He wanted to be a zookeeper you know? He loved animals. And it kills me he’ll never get any of those.”

Yuba County Sheriff Steven Durfor told FOX40 before Sunday there were no other calls to the home for problems with those dogs.


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  • Belowme

    3 pits? Is she insane. She’s lucky she didn’t get mauled too. Neglect resulting in death should be the charge.

  • ria mcnabb

    That’s what All you pitbull owners say, they are soo loving and then boom they’re killing a child. I would never let my kid be alone with a pit.!!

  • Latisha

    Pit bull’s be murdered that child. They ain’t no pit bull that be nice. Keeping pit as a pet should be’s a crimes against humanities.

      • donnatnyc

        As long as you are recommending books, you might considering reading one on manners and/or simple kindness. Latisha’s comment was heartfelt and on point. Was yours?

      • Anna Delaney

        Dear Fed Up….If you are going to post comments, publicly, just know that there is a way to do it with grace. Did you really ‘get’ the ideas behind her comment, or are you just out to belittle people?

  • Gina

    Poor, little guy had a rough, short life from the beginning to the end. May Tyler rest in the sweetest of peace. I feel horrible for his sister, I can’t imagine the pain she is going through.

  • syan

    I’m never shocked anymore when pit bulls kill or maim children/adults, as it seems to happen a lot. I am shocked that pit owners need to reassure us every time it happens that it wasn’t the pit’s fault though and that they’re the most loving animals ever.

  • Reasonless

    Obama will make it mandatory to register all Pit Bulls, but only after an extreme background check.
    If it only saves one life, it’ll be worth it.

  • Kathy

    Why did this person have THREE pit bulls, and how did she expect to take care of this little boy knowing she had to also take care of 3 dogs…and why leave him alone with those dogs! Her priorities were screwed up and the little boy paid the ultimate price😡😡😡😡😡

    • Windy Girl

      She apparently had an intact male and female, so you have that to consider as far as behavioral problems. Which is the very problem with the way people breed pit bulls now and there must be a very high rate of in-breeding within that group of dogs that these problems are the result. It’s irresponsible to breed ANY dog these days unless they’re valuable and registered pure-bred animals. She was simply naive and bought into the propaganda of the pit bull enthusiasts about how sweet they are. They *can* be, but there’s an inherent wildness about many of them which makes them far too prone to snapping and there’s no way to know which one is going to break.

  • Abby Hill

    Ugh you people are so stupid! Not all pit bulls are bad!! Just because one killed someone doesn’t mean all will! A black man murdered someone, does that mean all black people are bad??? I mean seriously you people shouldn’t judge a whole breed of dogs just by one dogs mistake. And don’t somebody say that there have been multiple deaths by pit bulls, BECAUSE THERE HAVE BEEN MULTIPLE DEATHS BY ALL RACES OF HUMAN, DOESNT MEAN WE MAKE ALL HUMAN BEINGS ILLEGAL!!!

    • Matt

      Abby your analogy fails to recognize that unlike blacks and white who are equal and both have the capacity to reason, dog breeds are very different and dogs themselves act on instinct. My family has a pitbull and I know how loving they can be. However when another dog at the park growls at him, his pitbull instincts take over and he is highly aggressive. Also, he shows marked aggression towards all small children. Lastly, why did you bring race into this? I bet you have at best a high school education.

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