Mom Will Not Be Charged in Zoo Mauling Case

2-year-old Maddox Derkosh 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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K. Patton December 12, 2012 at 02:46 PM
This is exactly what's wrong in this country. You could see it coming. People aren't accountable for their actions and lack of common sense. Lawyers got involved. money becomes a factor. The DA has to blame someone right. In this case the Zoo.. Have you been to this exhibit. It was 100% the negligence of the mother.This is a zoo with wild animals. Iv'e been there many times and it was marked properly and was not unsafe for any visitor with common sense. I do feel terrible for her poor decision, but her lawyers and the mother family should not make a dime off this tragedy. DA Zappala is trying to blame the wrong party. If a parent drives impaired in any way including texting and their child dies in a car crash, they're negligent. If they leave a loaded gun lying around the house and their child shoots someone, they're negligent.If they take their child to Niagara Falls and expose them to the many dangerous places you can fall in there and they slip and fall in to the falls then they're negligent. It is still tragic but preventable with some common sense.The same common sense DA Zappala is lacking in this case. People make mistakes,yes we are human. But we should all be responsible for are own negligent decisions. This time it just happens to be the mother that made the tragic mistake.


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