911 call reveals woman's desperate pleas for help - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

911 call reveals woman's desperate pleas for help in animal attack that killed 2-yr-old

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Octavia Johnson holds a photo of her nephew, Ja'Marr Tiller. Octavia Johnson holds a photo of her nephew, Ja'Marr Tiller.
The photos above are of the two dogs taken into custody by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office. (Provided) The photos above are of the two dogs taken into custody by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office. (Provided)

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- The call was dropped. The 911 operator called back, and someone answered and said Octavia was busy praying.

Octavia Johnson called 911 Sunday after her nephew was found attacked by an animal.

Johnson is heard screaming before the call cuts out at around the nine minute mark.

"The dog attacked my nephew, I think he's dying. Please! Please!" Johnson told the operator in a rush to put together words to describe the reason for the call.

And as the operator told Johnson paramedics were on the way, shouts of thanks to the Lord and Jesus could be heard. Johnson could also be heard telling someone that the child needed to be annointed with holy oil.

"Thank you, Jesus. In the name of Jesus. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! ...Lord, we need you! Lord, we need you!" Johnson shouted on the line until she was nearly out of breath.

Meanwhile, the operator worked to stress the importance of keeping calm while on the line to get help.

Crying, screaming, and desperate prayers could he heard as the operator stayed on the line that had been seemingly abandoned, at least temporarily, before the conenction was lost.

When the operator called back, she told the person on the line it was important to get someone calm on the phone so instructions could be given of things to do in preparation for the arrival of the paramedics.

"I'm the only one calm," the person on the line said after telling the operation that Octavia Johnson was praying.

The person on the line told the operator the next door neighbor was giving the 2-year-old CPR.

A second call shares equally desperate and emotional pleas for help as the caller seemed to have forgotten 911 had been called and begged for help from God.

"Oh, my God! ...Oh God, don't let die... My God, don't let him die!" the caller said while crying.

Over the course of the second call, it's realized the child is not breathing. And another person that came to the line, possibly the neighbor identified in the other call, is instructed by the operator how to perform CPR.

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» Investigators consult experts in animal attack case

During a press conference held Monday, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said the two dogs in Animal Control custody, found near the home of the attack site, may not be the animals who killed the young boy. 

"We are not sure which if either of these dogs was involved. This area as I understand it, there are not fences separating residences. There are other dogs that could have conceivably been involved," he said.

Investigators say they responded to a home on Highway 17 North near Highway 41 around 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

Octavia Johnson said she called 911 after the child's mother discovered 2-year-old Ja'Marr Tiller, unresponsive on the ground outside the home with his clothes ripped off.

The two dogs found in the yard, both mixed breeds, according to the sheriff, were taken into custody. The sheriff and Coroner Rae Wooten say they hope the help of expert consultants will match or eliminate the bite marks with the dogs.

Coroner Wooten says they are also waiting on lab results from the autopsy that could shed some light on the case.

"There are many unanswered questions about how this came to occur," Wooten said.

The child died due to his injuries sustained by blunt force and sharp trauma, according to the coroner. Early investigation can not indicate how long the child was attacked but Coroner Wooten says there are tests that could determine that. She could not determine how many times the child was bitten.

Check back with ABC News 4 as we continue to develop this story.

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