Neighbors describe child killed in dog attack as ‘beautiful little girl’


Neighbors have described attempts to save a 17-month-old girl who was attacked by a dog in her home.

The toddler died in hospital from his injuries following the attack in Blackbrook, St Helens, Merseyside on Monday afternoon.

A resident said: “We stopped at the school and heard screams. I just ran to try to help and started CPR until the paramedics took over.

The neighbour, who has to go to university to train as a paramedic, said the child’s parents were “hysterical”.

She added: “I didn’t see the dog, I was just concentrating on helping the baby.”

Another neighbor who helped give CPR said, “The parents loved the kids. It’s too upsetting to say anything else.

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A policeman wipes his eyes outside a house in St Helens after a 17-month-old girl died after being attacked by a dog. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

A policeman wipes his eyes outside a house in St Helens after a 17-month-old girl died after being attacked by a dog. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Neighbor Joanne Matthews, 53, said: ‘She was such a beautiful little girl, scooting around.

“I saw the family on the way, just to say hello, and they were always very nice.

Ms Matthews said she saw the ambulance outside the house on Bidston Avenue around 3.50pm on Monday, then around 10 police cars, including a van, arrived.

She said, “I seen them take the dog out.” I couldn’t tell what breed it was, but from the back it looked like a Staffordshire bull terrier or pit bull.

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Superintendent Steve Brizell speaks to the media outside a home in St Helens following the death of a 17-month-old girl after being attacked by a dog.  Peter Byrne/PA Wire


Superintendent Steve Brizell speaks to the media outside a home in St Helens following the death of a 17-month-old girl after being attacked by a dog. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Superintendent Steve Brizell speaks to the media outside a home in St Helens following the death of a 17-month-old girl after being attacked by a dog. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Merseyside Police said the dog, which was humanely destroyed, had only been with the family for a week.

He will undergo further forensic examinations to determine his breed and whether or not he is a legal breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991), police said.

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she returned from shopping around 4:30 p.m. and the area was packed with police.

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A woman lays flowers at a home in St Helens after a 17-month-old girl died after being attacked by a dog.  Peter Byrne/PA Wire


A woman lays flowers at a home in St Helens after a 17-month-old girl died after being attacked by a dog. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

A woman lays flowers at a home in St Helens after a 17-month-old girl died after being attacked by a dog. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

She said, “My friend took me and I told her there must have been a murder.

“The mum was in the field in front of the house crying, she was hysterical.

“It’s usually very quiet here and safe for children, but when you hear something like this has happened it’s so distressing.”

Detective Inspector Lisa Milligan said: ‘This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the child’s family at this devastating time.

“The little girl’s parents and extended family are absolutely devastated, and our specialist family liaisons are supporting them at this horrific time.

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Superintendent Steve Brizell speaks to the media outside a home in St Helens following the death of a 17-month-old girl after being attacked by a dog.  Peter Byrne/PA Wire


Superintendent Steve Brizell speaks to the media outside a home in St Helens following the death of a 17-month-old girl after being attacked by a dog. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Superintendent Steve Brizell speaks to the media outside a home in St Helens following the death of a 17-month-old girl after being attacked by a dog. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

“While we are in the very early stages of the investigation into this extremely tragic incident, we can confirm that the dog was only purchased by the family a week ago and officers are working to identify the former owners of the dog concerned and to establish its history.

“Our officers will remain on Bidston Avenue tonight and over the next few days to reassure the local community and we will work tirelessly to establish all of the circumstances.

“If you were in the Bidston Avenue area this afternoon and witnessed anything, or have any information about the dog in question, please come in and speak to one of our officers. .”

On Tuesday morning, two police officers were stationed outside the house, which was cordoned off with duct tape.

Anyone with information can contact Merseyside Police on Twitter @MerPolCC, or the Merseyside Police Contact Center on Facebook, with reference number 22000196837.

They can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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