MUNCIE, Ind. — Investigators say a Muncie woman tried to cover up the details in a dog attack that left a 17-month-old girl with “catastrophic facial injuries.”
Muncie police were sent to a home on W. 9th Street on January 6, 2022 in reference to a dog bite.
Officers arrived to find medics treating a toddler for severe head and facial injuries from a dog bite. They spoke with a witness who said Jacklynn Swafford was inside feeding the toddler when the attack happened. He also told police the dog had been aggressive before.
At the hospital, court documents show Swafford said the attack actually happened inside a Dodge Durango. The original witness then changed his story and agreed with Swafford about the attack happening inside a vehicle. A second witness also backed up Swafford’s claim.
When police looked at the car, they did not find any evidence of blood or signs of an attack.
Officers seized the dog, a pit bull named Hades, on January 14. One of its owners advised everyone to get inside their cars as the animal was given over to Animal Control to avoid getting attacked.
The original witness then came forward less than a week after the dog was seized to tell police he wanted to provide a “true statement.” In his revised account, he told police Swafford was inside the house feeding the toddler Wendy’s chicken nuggets when Swafford ran out of the room screaming.
She came out holding the girl who was bleeding from her head from a dog bite. As she ran, Hades jumped up and bit the girl in the head again. The witness said Swafford told him to lie to investigators about where the attack happened to avoid getting in trouble with the Department of Child Services.
The day after the original witness came forward, Swafford confirmed the witness’ revised story. She admitted to having the two witnesses lie for her so so she would not “lose her daughter.”
The other witness who spoke to police also admitting to lying throughout the investigation. She said Swafford advised her to “stick to the story.” She also said multiple people in the past asked her why the dog was allowed to be around the child since it was extremely aggressive, according to court documents.
The toddler has had at least two surgeries for her injuries. In July, investigators were told the girl would likely need another surgery soon because she keeps “choking due to scar tissue.”
Jacklyn Swafford was charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in catastrophic injury, false informing, and interference with the reporting of a crime.
A warrant has been issued for her arrest.