Mom Will Not Be Charged in Zoo Mauling Case

Maddox Derkosh, 2, of Whitehall 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, according to KDKA, District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. is investigating a possible criminal negligence charge against the zoo.

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 was then 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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David November 29, 2012 at 12:24 AM
I am disappointed with Allegheny County District Attorney and the Pittsburgh Police, if it was a black women she would have been charged. But there are two sets of laws in Pittsburgh one for whites and one for blacks.
Mon Johnson November 29, 2012 at 12:48 AM
The mother is clearly at fault for his death. Lifting him up on a 4 foot rail in a standing position, that is her fault. The zoo is not at fault at all. This is negligence of the Allegheny County District Attorney. Elizabeth Derkosh is not fit to be a mother at all and I hope she does not have any contact with another child as she is a murder.
Daniel Santiago November 29, 2012 at 04:17 PM
I disagree.
Lynn November 29, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Wow this has nothing to do with race! AT ALL! And she is not a murder, this was a terrible mistake, err in judgment etc. This mom has to live the rest of her life dealing with the fact her actions lead to the death of her child, that is punishment enough! This is between her and GOD!
JustMe November 29, 2012 at 08:00 PM
A murderer? (NOT murder) Really? Get real. A murderer is a gangster who calls in a fake pizza order and kills the delivery driver for a five dollar bill. A murderer is someone who shoots bullets from a moving car and kills their target or an innocent bystander. This poor mother is hardly a murderer. Irregardless, she will suffer every day for the rest of her life due to this horrendous accident -- and that's exactly what this was -- a tragic accident.
JustMe November 29, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Sure . . . . . drag the race card into this tragedy as well. Why not?


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