Father of girl mauled to death by dogs: I'm going to miss hearing her say I love you daddy

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Armando Hernandez is still coming to terms with his daughter Emma's death.

"I'm going to miss hearing her say 'I love you Daddy' in the morning every day," he said.

Three pit bulls mauled his 9-year-old as she rode her bike in the alley behind their home in southwest Detroit. Armando saw the aftermath and cannot unsee it.

"I haven't slept, I haven't been able to get any rest," Hernandez said. "The first thing I see when I close my eyes is my daughter."

Hernandez says he was working in his front yard when he heard one of his sons say the nine words that would change their lives: Dad, there's a little girl's body in the back.

"As soon as I saw that, as soon as I saw my baby girl on the floor right there, instantly my heart broke. I knew then."

Even so, that did not stop Armando, his son and other neighbors from trying to save Emma's life.

"What hurts me the most is, I can't imagine the pain she was going through being attacked by these dogs until she finally passed away," Hernandez said.

It's pain that could have been prevented.

"One of the neighbors actually said he called the police in November 2017 about the dogs and they didn't follow up, and he didn't do anything about his dogs, he didn't secure his dogs," Hernandez said. "They shouldn't have been out. They should have been better secured, we wouldn't be here today. Emma would be here. I would have my baby girl here."

FOX 2 cameras were rolling as police talked with the owner of the dogs Monday. He's now in police custody awaiting charges.

MORE: Neighbor: 'You could hear the screaming' in deadly mauling of girl by pit bulls

Detroit Animal Care and Control says the three dogs, one of which was shot after the attack, will likely be put down. 

Emma's death while incredibly tragic, is making a tight-knit family and community that much closer. The memorial in front of her home seems to grow by the hour as friends and strangers lift her family in prayer.

Her family is holding on to memories.

"She was a beautiful child, a beautiful girl," he said. "Very smart, she loved school."

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office has not made a decision yet to charge the owner of the dogs. Millionaire Bill Pulte will be helping to cover the costs of the funeral.

If you'd like to make a donation to the family to help pay for Emma's funeral, you can do so online via their GoFundMe account here