A British 9-year-old boy killed in a savage dog attack was left alone with the “bulldog-type” animal in a mobile home, according to police.
Frankie Macritchie, from Plymouth, died at Tencreek Holiday Park in Cornwall on Saturday, April 13, the BBC reported.
Police were called to the holiday park after receiving reports of a boy who was “unresponsive.”
The 9-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
A 28-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and having a dog dangerously out of control, according to Sky News. She has since been released from police custody as the investigation continues.
Police identified the woman as a family friend.
The dog was taken to a kennel.
Detective Superintendent Mike West was cited by Sky News as saying that the boy was on holiday at the park with a group of adults when the tragedy occurred.
“We believe that Frankie was alone in a caravan with the dog as he was attacked, whilst the adults that he was on holiday with were in an adjacent unit,” he said.
“These two groups of people were all known to each other and all from the Plymouth area,” West said, according to the report.
Families staying at the mobile home park were cited by The Metro as saying that they awoke to the child’s mother Tawnee Willis screaming, “The dog’s attacked my boy.”
Ashleigh Toms was cited by The Mirror as saying she saw the woman covered in blood near the scene of the attack.
The detective called it a “desperately sad event,” according to the BBC.
He thanked those who heard the boy’s cries for help and rushed to help “in deeply upsetting conditions.”
West said the investigation needed to run its course before anything could be said about who’s responsible for the boy’s death.
“We appreciate that this case will shock and upset the public, however, we urge the public not to apportion blame on this tragic incident, and to allow us to do our job and to fully investigate this matter,” West said, according to the BBC.
West was cited by Sky News as saying that experts were trying to determine if the animal is a banned breed and whether it ought to be put down.
In the UK there is legislation prohibiting the ownership of the following breeds, which have been deemed dangerous: Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro.
A spokesman for Tencreek holiday park, Henry Joce, was cited by the Guardian as saying: “It is with profound sadness that Tencreek holiday park management can confirm that emergency services were called to an incident in a static caravan just before 5 a.m. on Saturday, April 13.
“Tragically, a… child was pronounced deceased at the scene after being attacked by a dog present in the same caravan.
“Clearly our thoughts are very much with the family involved – they have our deepest sympathies,” he added.
Tributes Pour In
British media have reported that tributes have been pouring in for the deceased boy after family members posted images of him online.
The Metro reported
The British tabloid The Sun reported that the boy’s heartbroken mother shared a photo of her son, with the caption: “Caravan life with my babes.”
The Sun reported one person wrote: “Rip little man. I still see that little cheeky smile you had.”
Another reportedly wrote: “My heart goes out to you and your family. Fly high beautiful angel.”