Police: Man killed by family dog

Deputies say when they arrived at the home on Skillet Road the dog was there, but was not combative.

A pit bull is in the custody of the Dillon County Sheriff's Office after deputies say it attacked and killed its owner Wednesday.

That morning, the mother of 25-year-old Justin Lane, found him dead on the couch - covered in blood. Police determined Lane's dog, Smoke, attacked and killed him.

Tiffany Dalrymple lives near the home on Skillet Drive in Latta. "It was very scary that something like that could happen right here next door to my neighbor."

Neighbors say the pit bull mainly stayed outside chained up, but because of bad weather Tuesday night, Lane decided to bring him inside. According to a couple of Lane's close friends, Lane got the dog when it was just 6 weeks old. The pit bull is now two years old, and they say the dog was very friendly and never harmed anyone. They say Lane raised the animal in a loving way and taught it to be gentle and kind.

Still, Jill Nelson of Dillon, has her doubts about pit bulls. "Think about how many people being bitten and killed by them. Had a little boy in Dillon not too long ago killed by dogs like that."

She's talking about the killing of 10-year-old John Matthew Davis. In 2006, he was mauled to death by several dogs. Some of them were pit bulls. Tiffany Dalrymple says as she and Lane's friends are grieving, they're just trying to remember the good things about him. "He was a good family guy, good brother, good son. He loved his mother a lot. What happened was really sad. He's going to be missed."

Lane's pit bull is in police custody.

Deputies say their investigation could result in the animal being euthanized.

Police say this investigation is on-going, but they hope to have it wrapped up in the coming days.

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