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A man was mauled to death by four pit bull dogs in the driveway of a Selma-area home on Dec. 11, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department. Esteban Alavez, 34, was identified on Dec. 14 as the victim, reported the Fresno County Coroner’s Office. Authorities in the coroner’s office released the name after immediate family members could be reached and told about the death. Mr. Alavez lived in Selma and was a farm laborer.

Deputy Chris Curtice, spokesman for the sheriff’s department, said last week that the department was called at 7:10 p.m.  on Tuesday, Dec. 11. A woman had just turned into the driveway of her home in the 12000 block of South Highland Avenue when she saw the body of a man lying  on her property.

Curtice said she got out of her car, and it was obvious that the man had suffered “traumatic injuries.” She ran to the next home, where it’s believed family relatives live. Homicide detectives reported to the scene on Highland, between Saginaw and Mountain View avenues southwest of Selma.

Detectives determined quickly what had happened. Evidence included paw prints all around the body, Curtice said.

Authorities were able to track down four pit bull dogs at a nearby residence, where they found evidence of blood on the dogs, Curtice said. The coroner’s office later said that Alavez died from dog bites, including one that ruptured his jugular vein.

The dogs were taken to Liberty Animal Control.

Once the investigation report is completed, it will be turned over to the Fresno County District Attorney. The DA’s office will decide if any charges will be filed against the owner of the dogs.

Dog attacks that result in death are not common in Fresno County. In 2005, the death of 6-year-old Tyler Babcock focused much attention on vicious-dog laws. He was mauled to death by two large dogs, including a pit bull mix, in a pasture east of Clovis.

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