Family Of Fatal Mauling Victim Questions Deputy Response Time

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Twenty-nine minutes, that's how long it took Knox County Sheriff's deputies to get to the scene where Jennifer Lowe was attacked by two pit bulls on Monday.

According to her parents, that was too long.

Jeanne Kidd first called 9-1-1 at 3:44 PM, claiming her neighbor was yelling for help.

The call was immediately dispatched but deputies didn't arrive on scene for nearly a half hour.

"She just had a full life ahead of her and she should be here,” said Donna Lowe, Jennifer’s aunt. “There should be no reason that she shouldn't be here."

Jennifer Lowe's family is mourning her death while wondering what took authorities so long to answer her screams for help.

Neighbor Jeanne Kidd made the first call to 911 at 3:44 PM.

"I just went out on my deck to get my dog and there is a woman across the street screaming ‘somebody help me,’" Kidd said.

Thirteen minutes later, Kidd made a second call.

Dispatcher: “Knox county 911.”
Kidd: “Yeah, I just called 911 about a woman who was screaming across the street and I think I see blood everywhere, so please tell them to hurry.”

Then 22 minutes after the first call, Kidd makes a third call.

Dispatcher: “Knox county 911.”
Kidd: “Yeah, I've called twice about what looks like a dog attack with my neighbor."

From the first call to the arrival of deputies, it took 29 minutes.

"I think it's ridiculous,” said Ashley Lowe, Jennifer’s cousin. “I think they could have done a better job at it."

Relatives of Jennifer Lowe say 29 minutes is too long to respond to a woman screaming for help.

They feel she could still be alive today if authorities had gotten there quicker.

"It could have made a big difference because Jennifer was screaming,” said Donna. “She would still be alive if they had got there while she was still screaming. It could have made a huge difference."

So what took the Knox County Sheriff's department so long to respond?

Knox County Interim Sheriff Tom Spangler was unavailable for comment and KCSO Spokeswoman Martha Dooley only says they responded as quickly as they could.

But for Jennifer's relatives, they would like to know why.

“Jennifer's mother would like to know too,” Donna said, “and she would like to hear from them and see why it took so long."

Donna said the family is leaving Thursday evening for Huntsville to attend Jennifer's funeral.

Jennifer Lowe's family will receive friends at the Four Oaks Funeral Home on Friday night from 6:00 to 9:00.

The funeral is on Saturday at 1:00 PM.

Burial will be held at Winona Cemetery.

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