Granddaughter's texts credited with saving mother's life

JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- A grand daughter texting with a Janesville police officer is credited with saving the life of her mother following a domestic incident in Janesville Tuesday that injured three.

Dennis James McNeal, 57, faces charges of first-degree reckless injury, first-degree endangering safety and two counts of aggravated battery

During a Wednesday morning news conference, Janesville Police Chief David Moore credited a text message dialogue between a police officer and the grand daughter of one of the victims with saving the woman's life.

Police were called at 4:37 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, to a home in the 1800 block of S. Osborne St. following a report of shots fired. Shortly after police arrived, police discovered a man and a woman who came out of the house and were seriously injured. 

As police were investigating, a neighbor told police they should try to contact one of the victims' daughters. Investigators found a cell phone number for the daughter and placed a call that went unanswered.

Shortly after, police received a text from the phone, which began a dialogue between the texter and police. Officers soon learned that the texter was actually the 15-year-old grand daughter of one of the original victims. 

The grand daughter directed officers to a nearby home where they discovered a third victim with a serious gunshot wound to her head.

Moore said that had the grand daughter not contacted officers, the girl's mother only had 10 minutes to live.

The mother currently is at a hospital in Madison in critical condition but is expected to survive. One other victim also is hospitalized, and the third victim has been treated and released.

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