Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

December 27, 2011 (San Diego)—Emako Mendoza, 76, the Paradise Hills woman mauled by a neighbor’s two pit bulls in June, died on Christmas Eve after being hospitalized December 23 due to complications from those injuries, according to the Medical Examiner.

After the June attack, she underwent eight surgeries including amputations of her left leg and left arm.  According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, several weeks ago a surgeon had to amputate her right leg as well, after injuries proved too extensive to save the limb.

“It was too much,” Emako Mendoza, 78, told the Union-Tribune.

The couple married after meeting in Japan, where he was serving in the Navy.  Residents of San Diego for more than four decades, the raised a son and had four grandchildren.

Alba Cornelio and her daughter, Carla, owners of the dogs, were arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges after the attacks.   A District Attorney spokesman has indicated the office will review the case and may file additional charges following Mendoza’s death. An autopsy has not yet been scheduled.

The pit bull dogs, which previously injured another neighbor’s poodle, broke through a fence and attacked Mrs. Mendoza in her yard.  Her husband found her with her limbs “hanging by threads,” he testified.

An attorney for the defendants claimed the dogs were aggressive due to an attack by bees, but failed to provide any evidence to support that argument.

The dogs, along with 11 puppies, were euthanized after the attack.  


Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.