- Associated Press - Monday, January 26, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The FBI found no criminal activity during its investigation into the November dog-attack death of an 8-year-old South Dakota girl on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, a spokesman for the agency said Monday.

The announcement from FBI spokesman Kyle Loven means the inquiry into Jayla Rodriguez’s death is closed. Tribal police have said that Jayla was killed by a pack of dogs while sledding on Nov. 18. Oglala Sioux officials rounded up and killed dozens of dogs after the attack.

The death certificate filed last week described Jayla’s death as an accident and includes a reference to injuries from a dog.

Danielle Griffith, Jayla’s mother, says she’s “not happy” with the conclusions of the FBI investigation. Griffith said her daughter, who was not with her at the time, should not have been outside by herself when it was dark.

“I guess they’re just calling it an accident, but, I don’t know. I’m not happy with that,” Griffith said.

Lyle Pilcher, Jayla’s paternal uncle, told The Associated Press Monday that he was the one who found Jayla after the attack and that he participated in the FBI investigation.

Pilcher said Jayla called him to ask that he pick her up from school so she could go sledding at her father’s house in Pine Ridge before dark. The plan then was to take her to his home, in Rushville, Nebraska.

Jayla’s father was on his way back from hunting, Pilcher said.

Pilcher said it was about 5 p.m. when he told Jayla it was time to stop sledding and leave. Jayla wanted to keep going down the hill, so Pilcher went inside briefly, he said.

After checking on her again, Pilcher went back inside and put their backpacks in the car, he said. When he returned, Jayla wasn’t by her sled and he saw the dogs had her.

“It was minutes,” Pilcher said. “It wasn’t like she was out there by herself all evening. It was a quick stop, and something horrible happened.”

Pilcher said he gave the FBI everything they needed, adding: “I have nothing to hide.”

Loven said the FBI doesn’t typically discuss the results of an investigation once it is closed.


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