MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Along the fence of the backyard, just steps away from where Javon Dade Jr. died, friends, neighbors and even strangers are leaving flowers and stuffed animals in his memory.
Midge Mojica doesn't know the family and just saw the story on the news. Still, she said she drove up from Homestead on Thursday to pay her respects.
"We have little ones at home, too," said Mojica. "It touches anybody's heart."
Javon was reported missing by relatives a little after 10 a.m. Wednesday. Miami-Dade police officers found his body in the backyard. Police said it appears he was attacked by at least one of the family's three big dogs. Three puppies were also removed from the home Wednesday.
The boy's family gave no comments on camera Thursday, but his mother did share her feelings online. Doreen Reyes cautioned South Florida on a local TV station's Facebook page not to pass judgement on the family or make assumptions about who's at fault.
"I brought my kids up in a Godly home and I'm leaving it up to him to get us through this tragedy," wrote Reyes. "So please have compassion for my family and my other son through this time."
Javon's grandmother, Jocelyn Dade, also found solace on Facebook by updating her page with new pictures of her second grandson. The posts garnered lots of words of condolences from dozens of her friends.
The dogs -- three adults and three puppies -- remain in quarantine at the Miami Dade County Animal Services shelter. Miami-Dade police homicide detectives are still waiting for the results of DNA tests to determine which of the bigger dogs participated in the mauling. They said only the gray pit bull displayed aggression toward animal control officers.
"They are still considered evidence," Animal Services investigator Luis Salgado said. "They are in an isolated area of the shelter."
It's unclear what will happen to the dogs at the conclusion of the investigation. The state attorney's office will determine if any criminal charges should be filed.
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