Inquest finds fatal mauling by two pit bulls accidental

By Greg Rivara

The death of an NIU graduate student mauled by two pit bull dogs on Nov. 10 has been ruled accidental by a DuPage County coroner’s inquest.

However, the jury has recommended that the investigation be continued because 72 glass viles, possibly intended for drug use, were found in the victim’s car, Kane County Sherriff’s Detective Michael Anderson said.

The jury decided Saturday that Kevin B. Cull, 25, of 120 Gurler Drive, DeKalb, oficially died from blood loss due to multiple lacerations and puncture wounds from the attack, said Edward Ley, chief deputy coroner for DuPage County.

Ley said the jury advised that the investigation continue because of “gray areas” involving the testimony of Michael Hatchell and the time element involvd between the attack’s occurrence and Cull’s transportation for medical assistance.

Police did not indicate any evidence of foul play, he said. However, the possibility that drugs are involved have prompted authorities to investigate the incident further.

atchell was sleeping inside the Fabyan Parkway home in rural Geneva where the attack occurred and transported Cull to nearby Kane County Sherriff’s Department where paramedics were called.

Cull was later transported to the Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield where he died.

A blood alcohol count registering .07 was taken “and hour or so” after Cull was attacked, Ley said. There remains the possibilty that the alcohol content in the blood decreased because of procedures used at the hospital in an attempt to revive Cull, he said.

Ley continued to say that the time element between the attack and when Cull was found by Hatchell might have played a role in the alcohol level decreasing.

Since the time of the attack, Hatchell has refused to return phone calls placed to his mother’s residence in West Chicago and has not left a forwarding address, Anderson said.

“Hatchell knows we’re looking for him for further questioning,” because the investigation “needs to clarify the time period unaccounted for between the point of the attack and the time he entered our office,” he said.

The whereabouts of the dogs’ owner, Thomas Kennedy, is still unknown. The man is being sought by authorities for further questioning. Charges have not been filed against Kennedy of Hatchell.

The dogs, named “Sergeant,” and “Colonel,” were impounded the night of the attack and taken to River Heights vetrinary clinic is Oswego. The dogs were later put to sleep by lethal injection Jan. 5.