Kathy Sue Nichelson was a great-grandmother who lived through so much, but on Thursday she died a gruesome, tragic death.
Nichelson was mauled to death by a dog, leaving her family behind and beyond distraught. She suffered extensive wounds so great that her casket will be closed during her funeral.
"And she never gets out there because she is scared of that dog," daughter Candy Smith said.
But on Thursday, as she walked up her driveway from her car, the 61-year-old woman was attacked by her friend's PIT BULL.
"She tried to fight it with a knife but she couldn't and it killed her," Candy said.
Her 88-pound frame was no match for the dog who family members said was 60 pounds. Deputies said a passerby saw Nichelson laying on the ground and rushed to help not knowing what happened. But moments later, the dog began to attack him as well.
"They climbed on top of my mother's car and the dog literally scratched the paint off of the hood of my mom's car trying to get to them," her youngest daughter said.
When deputies arrived, they barricaded the dog but it broke free and charged at a deputy. The dog was shot and killed.
Just 90 minutes prior, Nichelson was on the phone with her daughter Candy. She planned to buy church dresses for her great-granddaughter. She had also just found out her youngest daughter was pregnant with her first child.
The family said the loss is not only unbearable but also unbelievable.
"And to be brutally, brutally murdered like that, nobody, nobody deserves that," the youngest said.
While the family is distraught, they want to be clear that they don't blame the breed of dog but the owner.
2017 DOG BITE RELATED FATALITIES - 25 (11 children - 14 adults)
PIT BULL - 14
PIT BULL MIX - 1
PIT BULL/BOXER MIX - 1
PIT BULLS AND GERMAN SHEPHERDS POSSIBLY MIXED - 1
BOERBOEL - 1
GERMAN SHEPHERD - 1
MASTIFF/GREAT DANE MIX - 1
2 ENGLISH MASTIFFS - 1 ROTTWEILER - 1 UNIDENTIFIED BREED DOGS - 1 MIXED BREED DOG - 1 (Redding CT)
GIANT SCHNAUZER MIX AND LABRADOR RETRIEVER MIX - 1 AL-1 AZ-1 CA-1 CT-1 FL-1
MD-1 MI-1 MS-1
OK - 1
VA-1 1) 1-17 LOGAN BRAATZ - 6 - ATLANTA GA - The boy was walking to his school bus stop with other children and some adults when 2 loose pit bull dogs began attacking them - It was reported that Logan was eviscerated, his friend Syrai Sanders was scalped and another child was injured - Although neighbors came running with sticks, knives and whatever they could find, the attack was deadly and swift and the dogs continued to circle and attempt to attack - The dog owner said his dogs had a fence but "SOMEHOW" got out.
2) 1-17 SKYLAR DEAN JULIUS - 2-MONTHS-OLD - SAN MARCOS TX - The father was caring for the infant girl while the mother was at work - He fell asleep for around 20 minutes and when he woke up the baby had been mauled by the family German Shepherd they had had for over 8 years and it was reported that the dog "had never shown aggression before".
3) 2-13 LOUISE HERMIDA - 75 - QUEENS NY - The elderly woman was mauled by her large dog that had been adopted almost 6 years ago. The breed is said to be a Mastiff or a Mastiff/Great Dane mix. Neighbors say as many as 10 dogs lived at the apartment. Her 39-year-old son, who has autism, attempted to put the dog in its cage and he was bitten on the leg.
4) 2-16 UNIDENTIFIED 5-YEAR-OLD BOY - CLARKSVILLE TN - Emergency personnel were called at 8:20am on a Thursday morning to a report that the Family's two English Mastiffs reported to be about 6-months-old had mauled the child. The boy died from extensive injuries.
5) 2-28 VALENTIN HERRERA - 76 - LINCOLN HEIGHTS CA - He was mauled by 2 pit bulls on February 2 while walking his small dog Dodger - Dodger was killed - He was knocked down during the attack and could have further received head injuries .......
6) 3-23 JASE PATRICK FOHS - 8-MONTHS - LUSBY CALVERT COUNTY MD - The family pit bull latched on to the child and was still attacking when officers arrived only minutes after the call - An officer had to shoot the dog to stop its mauling but the baby died.
7) 4-6 CECILLE SHORT - 82 - AND HER LITTLE DOG - OKLAHOMA CITY OK - Cecille was taking her pet dog for a walk when they were attacked by 2 large pit bulls - A passerby in a car saw the attack and called 911 - Police arrived and shot one and hit the other with their vehicle because they could not get out of their vehicle but it was too late for the victims!!! Witnesses describe the elderly woman as being almost decapitated.
8) 4-26 MAURICE BROWN - 60 - DAYTON OH - Neighbor's heard screaming and crying for help after 4am and dogs barking and began calling 911 - Police arrived and had to shoot a pit bull that apparently broke free from a chain in a backyard and attacked the man - 4 dogs were taken from the property.
9) 4-27 LISA GREEN - 32 - UPPER MACUNGIE TOWNSHIP PA - Neighbors heard the woman being attacked by her 3 1/2-year-old male pit bull/boxer mix on the rear deck of her home - They offered the dog ham and it didn't stop the attack - They hit it with a stick and it crunched the stick - Then an off-duty police chief who lived nearby was called and he shot the dog in its leg and that finally stopped the attack but the woman had suffered great blood loss and was pronounced dead at the hospital - It was reported that she had had the dog for 2 1/2 years - Neighbors reported that the dog was biting on her neck.
10) 5-1 JANE MARIE EGLE - 59- ASHEVILLE BUNCOMBE CO NC - A call was made to 911 about an aggressive dog and when deputies arrived they found Jane Egle unconscious and appeared to have animal bites - the aggressive dog would not let anyone inside the home - They finally subdued the animal and it was reported it died - Seven dogs were taken from the home - 6 Boerboels and 1 Great Pyrenees - According to a relative, her Facebook and Instagram she bred these very large aggressive dogs for sale - Behavior analysts evaluated the dogs and recommended they be put down due to their aggressiveness - But the Great Pyrenees will not be put down and it was determined it was not a threat to society. PENDING.....11) 5-7 JAMES DERLE PATTERSON - 63 - JACKSONS' GAP TALLAPOOSA COUNTY AL- Patterson was riding a small gas-powered scooter about a mile from his home on Alf Road- A caller reported the incident at 4:13pm that "dogs" had attacked a man - He was found unresponsive with wounds consistent with a dog attack and was pronounced dead at 5:37pm - He was found about 15 yards from where his scooter was found..... in the road - The road is a dead end and located in a rural secluded area - There were "beware of dog" signs posted on the property - The breed or breeds of the dogs have not been identified. 12) 5-8 KAMIKO DAO TSUDA-SAELEE - 6 MO OLD GIRL - LAS VEGAS NV - First Responders were called to a home around 1pm where a 6-month-old baby was fatally mauled by the family's pit bull they had had for 9 years - The mother was home with the baby and it was reported that she went to the bathroom and left the baby in her walker with the dog - when she returned the pit was attacking the baby and she got it off but it was too late - The child was later pronounced dead at the hospital. 13) 5-12 - SANDRA KAISER - 71 - REDDING CT - She was attacked by her own dog at her home - The breed is said to be a "Mixed Breed" and it was a "Rescue Dog" that had been living at that home for about 6 years - An autopsy was to be conducted...not much information on this one. 14) 5-28 - SUSANNAH JEAN MURRAY- 3 WEEKS - GRAND RAPIDS MI - The infant was left inside a home sleeping with 3 pit bulls free to roam the house on the late afternoon of Thursday May 27 - An adult went inside to check on the child after a reportedly 5 minutes and found the child bitten on the head with one of the pit bulls near her with blood on its mouth - The baby underwent surgery but died on the early morning of Friday 28. 15) 6-1 - MARGARET M. COLVIN - 91 - VIRGINIA BEACH VA - The granddaughter reported that the dog was adopted from a rescue on Wednesday and was brought home and on that day the elderly grandmother was either knocked down or fell inside her bedroom and the 1-year-old 50-pound American Pit Bull Terrier mauled her in a approximately 5-minute attack - The woman died on Thursday. 16) 6-9 - MARCO JUNIOR (MJ) RAYA - 1 YEAR - PHOENIX AZ - The grandmother was caring for the child and had put him down in a bedroom - She then opened an ?outside? door and the Rottweiler came in and grabbed the baby from the room and dragged him outside - An officer arrived and shot the dog to end the attack on the baby and he was rushed to a local trauma center and was later pronounced dead from his injuries - The Rottweiler belonged to a family member. 17) 7-11 - VINSON TUCKER - 79 - MCCREARY COUNTY KY - It appears that the elderly man had gone to a junk yard owned by Mike Stephens who also runs a towing and wrecker service just down the road to pay a bill - Neighbors say the dogs stay at the businesses and also at Stephens home and this has been going on for quite a few years as there have been liters of puppies also seen on the property and on facebook - At this first writing one video reports that there was a surveillance camera and a detective reported that there was a dog on each arm and on each leg .....so at least 4 !!!!!PITS????? MIXED WITH SOMETHING - 18) 7-20 - MICHAEL PARKS - 60 - FOSTORIA OH - He was letting his unleashed pit bull outside around 11pm when the dog ran across the street and began fighting another pit being walked on a leash by its owner - Parks attempted to stop the pit fight and was bitten on a recently installed dialysis shunt and began bleeding profusely - He was pronounced dead later that night at the hospital - The article does not say which dog bit him or if both pits bit him. 19) 7-27 - JACOB BROOKS - 4 - EL PASO TX - Neighbors report the 4 dogs were aggressive and they often heard them fighting and growling at night - They also report that they often had seen the children playing on the enclosed trampoline and the dogs would not let the children get off - One article is now reporting a neighbor saying the dogs are PIT BULLS AND GERMAN SHEPHERD MIX DOGS. 20) 8-1 - PARIS ADAMS - 20-MONTHS - HARTWELL, HART COUNTY GA - The toddler was being cared for at his grandmother's home - Apparently the family (mother, aunt, boyfriends, etc. were involved in the PIT BREEDING BUSINESS!!!- She says that 2 of the pits charged out of the door into the backyard when she opened it and began mauling the child - Apparently...at first readings...911 was not called and the child was not taken directly to hospital ER...instead she drove to another residence to pick up the child's mother (her daughter) and then they drove to an urgent care facility - Where the child was pronounced dead...before police arrived!!! - She was arrested and charged with 2nd degree Murder, manslaughter and cruelty to children and released on $50,000 bail. 21) 8-19 - MICHAEL JAMES OBERGAS - 8-WEEKS-OLD - HOUSTON TX - The infant was in a bassinet when the parents stepped away - 2 family dogs, a GIANT SCHNAUZER MIX AND A LABRADOR RETRIEVER MIX fatally mauled him - The latest article states one of the dogs was able to open a secured bedroom door and mauled the baby but it did not say which dog did this. 22) 8-26 - ALICIA MALAGON - 76 - CALHOUN COUNTY FL - She was looking after her daughter and son-in-law's dogs while they were away on vacation and took her small dachshund with her to check on them - A pit bull named "Blue" attacked her dachshund and when she came to her dog's aid the pit turned on her biting her over her entire body but especially on her right leg she had a laceration that was extremely deep - She managed to crawl to use a phone but passed out before first responders arrived - She died from her injuries. 23) 9-20 - CONNIE STOREY - 61 - BEATLINE COMMUNITY OF NESHOBA MS - She was attacked on Sept 8 while feeding her son's pit bull and had been hospitalized since the attack - It is reported that both her legs had to be amputated - She succumbed to the horrific injuries on Weds Sept 20. 24) 9-20 - UNIDENTIFIED 1-MO-OLD INFANT BOY - KNOX COUNTY OH - The baby was sleeping in a bassinet and in the care of its father when around 6:12am the father found the child with its head mauled - The father had 2 pit bulls inside the home - This first story says that he said "one of his dogs" attacked the boy - When asked on the 911 call if he needed the dispatcher to walk him through CPR he told them that the child's head injuries were too severe - The baby was pronounced dead at the home. 25) 9-27 - KATHY SUE NICHELSON - 61 - CHERRY LOG, GILMER CO GA - She was mauled relentlessly by her friend's pit bull when she got out of her car to walk up the driveway - NON-BITE DOG RELATED DEATH
1) 3-18 - JOHN BRUNO - 5 - WARRINGTON TWP PA - John was playing in the snow on Wednesday, March 15, when his family looked out and saw him down on the ground with the family dog tugging at his scarf around his neck - He was unresponsive and first responders gave him CPR and he was rushed to a hospital - He died on Saturday, March 18 - Investigators report that he suffered ligature strangulation from the HOUND MIX pulling on his scarf. 2) 8-2 - WILLIAM GAMBLE - 66 - PALM COAST FL - He was walking his Staffordshire bull terrier on July 30 in his neighborhood when a dog said to be a Plott Hound began attacking his dog - Witnesses say the Plott Hound, that had a history of aggression, came out of its collar while being walked by one of its owners...a female - His dog was injured and he was knocked over or he fell injuring his knee - It is not clear if he was bitten by either dog during the attack but he made it back home and collapsed in his garage - He was able to tell his wife that he had been attacked by a dog before he went unconscious - He apparently suffered a series of heart attacks and died on Wednesday, Aug. 2.