Lyssa Rose Upshaw Wiki
Lyssa Rose Upshaw Biography
Who is Lyssa Rose Upshaw?
Lyssa Rose Upshaw died in May while walking near her home in Fort Defiance on the Navajo Nation. She was found curled up in a ball with her clothes in tatters and her legs “chewed up,” her mother, Marissa Jones, told the Navajo Times.
From the beginning, Jones believed her daughter had been mutilated to death by two dozen of her neighbor’s dogs, and she described the animals as “bad.” Those dogs killed my baby, ”Jones said, according to the Times. . “This did not have to happen. Now, an autopsy has confirmed that the 13-year-old boy died from injuries sustained in an attack by several dogs, according to the Associated Press.
While Lyssa’s death was deemed accidental, the investigation into her death remains open.
Lyssa Rose Upshaw Age
Lyssa Rose Upshaw was 13 years old.
Lyssa Rose Upshaw Killed by a pack of 20 dogs
An autopsy has confirmed that a 13-year-old girl was killed by a pack of dogs while she was walking near her family’s home in the Navajo Nation.
Lyssa had extensive injuries that matched the marks on her canine teeth, including cuts and abrasions on her neck and head and deep soft tissue wounds on her legs. Her clothing was torn and covered in dirt, according to an autopsy released this week in response to the Associated Press public records request.
While her mother, Marissa Jones, had suspected dogs ever since she saw her daughter huddled on a dirt trail in Fort Defiance in mid-May, she had been awaiting official cause.
“I never thought that would happen to my daughter,” she said. “She was a dog lover.”
The Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office classified Upshaw’s death as accidental. The deadly attack has renewed discussion across the reservation about how to hold people accountable for their pets.
Tribal lawmakers recently passed a resolution to establish criminal penalties. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez vetoed him, saying he didn’t go far enough and needs more information.
At least a handful of deaths in the Navajo Nation over the years have been attributed to dog packs, and many other people have been injured. None of the tribe’s animal control laws, which are considered civil crimes, hold dog owners responsible for the deaths.
Michael Henderson, the tribe’s director of criminal investigations, said tribal charges are being considered in Upshaw’s death as authorities gather more evidence and await the results of samples collected from the dogs that belonged to a neighbor.
“The case is far from closed, far from being set aside as an accident or a civil matter or something like that,” he said. “We are still trying to understand the case very aggressively to the extent that there are criminal elements linked to what happened.”
The FBI is running some of the lab tests. Henderson said he has spoken with federal prosecutors whose initial response was that the case cannot be charged under a limited set of offenses for which the federal government has jurisdiction on tribal lands.
Tribes have concurrent jurisdiction but often seek federal charges because they carry much harsher penalties than under tribal law. The maximum jail time the Navajo Nation could impose for any crime, regardless of severity, is one year.
Esther Winne, a spokeswoman for the Arizona US Attorney’s Office, could not say whether Upshaw’s case has been referred to federal prosecutors. The FBI did not respond to a message from the AP.
Jones said his “girl”, who aspired to run on the high school cross country team, deserved more compassion and sympathy from the dog-owning neighbors and more attention from investigators on the case.
She has been pushing for jail time and fines for whoever is found responsible, although Henderson acknowledged that there is no clear path.
“I hope and pray that my daughter gets justice,” Jones said.