Cincinnati Police Don’t Recommend Criminal Charges Against Mother in Gorilla Case: Report

June 3, 2016 Updated: June 3, 2016

The mother of the 3-year-old boy who fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, resulting in zoo officials killing the ape, will not face criminal charges.

Cincinnati police questioned the boy’s mother, 32-year-old Michelle Gregg, but reports now say they will recommend no criminal prosecution.

The Cincinnati Enquirer, which obtained a police report, identified the mother as Gregg. The paper and People magazine said that she works at a preschool near Cincinnati.

The paper stated: “Police have wrapped up their investigation without recommending charges against the mother of a 3-year-old boy who witnesses said fell into the gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo, according to a source close to the investigation.”

The official announcement will come on Monday.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said the Cincinnati Police Department asked his office to examine their investigation. “I will read everything and decide what we’re doing,” Deters said.

A 911 call Gregg made Saturday was released. She made the call as 450-pound gorilla, Harambe, was dragging her boy around a moat.

“He’s dragging my son,” she says. “I can’t watch this… I can’t watch.”

Many petitioners online wanted to see Gregg charged with neglect, claiming she failed to stop her son from entering the gorilla’s habitat.

A spokeswoman for the family released a statement from the family thanking the zoo staff for their “quick action.”

“We are so thankful to the Lord that our child is safe. He is home and doing just fine… We know that this was a very difficult decision for them, and that they are grieving the loss of their gorilla,” the family said.

Legal experts have said that prosecution seems unlikely, but one said that the boy’s family could sue the Cincinnati Zoo over the gorilla compound’s security.

“What kind of a design do you have if a 3-year-old, if you look away for a moment, is able to climb over and suddenly spend time with a gorilla? The zoo could sue the parents because the gorilla ended up getting killed. That would be as popular as the Ebola virus,”  expert Royal Oakes told Inside Edition.