BLACKFOOT — Carlon De La Cruz Galloway was a kind, caring young man who family says loved to crack jokes, hang out with his siblings and spend time with his family.
The 19-year-old was on a walk Wednesday morning in Fort Hall when he was attacked and killed by a pack of 12 dogs, according to Carlon’s dad, Daniel De La Cruz, and his stepmom, Linna De La Cruz.
The horrific and untimely death of their son came two days after Blackfoot police issued a news release saying they were searching for Carlon, who allegedly ran from a crime scene and was wanted on an outstanding felony warrant.
Daniel and Linna De La Cruz visited EastIdahoNews.com Monday afternoon to address their son’s situation and “clear his name” following a wave of negative comments and speculation from the public.
“He wasn’t a pedophile, he wasn’t a murderer, he wasn’t evil, he wasn’t a dangerous, mean criminal,” Linna says. “People see a mugshot and think the worst, but he was a good, kind kid who would have done anything for anyone.”
‘A good brother and amazing son’
Carlon attended Shoshone-Bannock Jr./Sr. High School and worked for his dad, who owns a roofing company. He loved being outside, hunting and fishing.
Carlon’s sister recalled mentioning one day that she wished there was another girl in the family so they could have a spa day. The next day, Carlon said, “Am I going to have to be your sister today?” and the two got facials and pampered each other.
“He was protective of his sisters and protective of everybody. He wasn’t a kid that was going to start trouble,” Daniel explains. “He was a good brother and an amazing son.”
Daniel and Linna admit their son was like any other teenager and wasn’t perfect. When he was 16, he crashed his truck and took off. He was charged with felony eluding, which resulted in an outstanding warrant, according to his parents.
Juvenile records are sealed in Idaho, so EastIdahoNews.com was unable to verify the charges, but Carlon had no adult criminal record other than an infraction in 2021 for driving without privileges and failure to provide insurance.
“I’m not going to paint a picture of a perfect child. He had his bad days, and not to say he didn’t throw a fit here and there, but overall, he was a good kid,” Linna says.
Carlon was at a friend’s house in Blackfoot on Jan. 29 when law enforcement showed up around 11 a.m. to serve a warrant for another person at the house, according to Linna and Daniel. When their son saw the officers, he ran.
“Probation and parole decided to go a check on one of their parolees at a house. Carlon happened to be there. He was still thinking he had a warrant, which he did, and when asked his name, he said, ‘I’m George,’ and then took off running,” Daniel says.
Three schools were put on lockdown, and the Blackfoot Police Department issued a news release saying they were looking for Carlon. Officers said two people were hiding in backyards, running along railroad tracks near the Rich Street Apartments, and one of them might have had a firearm.
“Carlon didn’t carry guns, and the other kid didn’t have a gun either,” Linna says. “Carlon was very safe with guns and knew guns but would only use them to go hunting. He was never violent and didn’t like confrontation.”
Carlon ended up at his deceased grandfather’s home in Fort Hall. On Wednesday morning, he ate breakfast and went for a walk around 8 a.m.
A few hours later, a family member who lived nearby noticed a pack of dogs surrounding something. She yelled at the animals and realized they were attacking a person on the ground, Daniel says.
Fort Hall Police and the FBI were contacted. Daniel was working when he got a call from Carlon’s biological mother.
“She says, ‘Carlon’s gone.’ I replied, ‘Where? Where’d he go?’ She said, ‘No, he’s gone. He’s dead. He got attacked by the neighbor’s dogs — a bunch of them. He’s dead,'” Daniel says through tears.
Daniel jumped in his truck and rushed to the scene of the attack, about 30 to 40 yards from Carlon’s grandfather’s home. Investigators had placed orange cones across the property, each one marking a piece of clothing that had been ripped off Carlon’s body.
“I didn’t even recognize him. He was naked, and his body was just laid out face forward all muddy. I couldn’t even tell it was a body — my son’s body,” Daniel says, breaking down.
Shoshone Bannock Tribes Fish and Game Department euthanized the wild dogs. There were 12 animals involved, according to Daniel and Linna, and the FBI is investigating the attack.
“Looking at my son, you could tell he fought. He had bruises on his hands and swollen knuckles. I know he had to have hit and punched,” Linna says. “And as far away from the house as he was, even if he was screaming, nobody could have heard him.”
‘We love him’
Carlon’s parents hope by speaking out, the public sees another side of their son – not a criminal in a mugshot but a young man who had his whole life ahead of him tragically cut short in a horrific attack.
“I would take his place in a heartbeat. Since I can’t, I promised I’d clear his name and let everyone know who Carlon really is,” Linna says. “Nobody deserves to die the way he did. We love him, and he will be missed by so many.”
A viewing for Carlon was held Sunday and he will be buried Tuesday. A GoFundMe account has been established to help pay for funeral and other expenses.
Since he passed, Carlon’s siblings have written down memories. One brother recalls a time when Carlon was consoling him following the death of a loved one. His words then are more poignant now:
“Notice how it rains when someone passes. That’s nature’s way of washing the footprints they left on this earth but the two places it can’t wash are your home and your heart. The only thing that can do that is your tears. So don’t cry because they’re ok now.”
Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: EastIdahoNews.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.