Houston-Area Woman Says Dog Tore Off Her Baby Boy's Genitals, But Officials Doubt Her Story

Tuesday, March 27th 2007, 5:04 pm

By: News On 6

WEBSTER, Texas (AP) _ A woman with a history of drug abuse says she woke up from a nap to find her miniature dachshund had torn off her baby boy's genitals. Authorities have doubts about her story, but exactly how the newborn was maimed is still a mystery.

Holden Gothia, now 7 weeks old, was found on a bed in his mother's suburban Houston apartment March 13, covered in blood. His genitals were severed and there was a deep cut in his upper leg.

He has been in critical condition ever since. He may never regain the use of his leg and faces years of operations, according to the boy's father, Camden Gothia.

Police, doctors and Child Protective Service officials told the baby's father that the injuries were not consistent with dog bites _ the lacerations were too neat.

But Holden's mother, the only person who might have the answers, has checked into a treatment program and refuses to cooperate with police. No charges have been filed.

``In this case, all the investigators can do is go over photographs, trying to make determination based on what experts are telling us,'' said Houston police spokesman John Cannon.

Child-protection authorities said the 25-year-old woman had a history of prescription drug abuse and tested positive for cocaine and methadone the day after Holden was mutilated.

The mother's name has not been released, and the boy's father would not disclose it. The couple were living together but were not married.

Camden Gothia, a 36-year-old assistant supervisor at a chemical plant, said Holden was born healthy and drug-free, and for the first month of his life, the mother ``was just glowing. She was head-over-heels in love with Holden.''

But Gothia said he soon saw signs that his girlfriend was using drugs again, and the day before the maiming, he threatened to take the boy away from her.

``I called her mother and said she either gets help or I will remove Holden permanently. I was not going to take a risk with Holden,'' he said.

Instead, he said, he got a call from Holden's mother the next afternoon telling him to rush home.

He said he arrived at the couple's apartment to find an animal control van outside, Holden's mother in an apparent drug-induced stupor and blood covering the bed where the baby had been sleeping.

``Every emotion starts shooting through you _ guilt that I wasn't there, thinking what I could have done differently every day prior to that,'' he said.

Gothia said the 8-pound dachshund, which he bought as a gift for Holden's mother, had never shown any aggressiveness and often slept nestled to the newborn.

He said he has been given permission by animal control authorities to take the dog home.

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