A four-year-old girl who died after being attacked by a dog in Milton Keynes has been named as Alice Stones.
Thames Valley Police officers were called to a property in Broadlands areas shortly after 5pm on 31 January after receiving a report of a dog attack. Alice, who has not been formally identified by officers, died at property from her injuries. Police have now confirmed that the animal at the centre of the attack was a “family pet”.
Supt Marc Tarbit said: “The child’s family are being supported by specially-trained officers and we’d ask that their privacy is respected. An investigation is currently under way to fully understand the circumstances but we currently believe that this was a tragic, isolated incident and there is no threat to the wider community.
“Accordingly, no arrests have been made at this time. I can confirm that the dog was a family pet and was put down by police on the scene yesterday evening.”
He said the incident in a back garden – in which no-one else was hurt – was clearly one which had “shocked and upset people” as he urged residents to speak to officers with any questions or concerns.
A police cordon remains in place around the family’s property in Milton Keynes. Tributes have been placed nearby to remeber the young girl’s life, with one reading: “Alice!! Fly high with the angels little one. The whole community will miss your smile. Our thoughts are with the whole family, especially her mum.”
Alice was a ‘happy little girl’
Neighbour Rita Matthews, 36, said that the community was in mourning over the death of Alice. She said: “I know the girl. It’s so sad to hear that news.
“She was always holding her mummy’s hand on the way back. It’s so sad we’re not going to see the girl again and I pray all the best to her mum to get her strength back.”
She described Alice as a “happy little girl” and added that she would often chat with her while she walked her own daughter to school. She said: “She would say ‘Bye, auntie’, and I would say ‘Bye, little girl’. You know kids, playing around.”
Donna Fuller, a ward councillor for Woughton Community Council, said that the “tight-knit community” was deeply saddened by the “awful situation”. She shared details of a vigil for Alice at Grand Union Vineyard Church which would allow mourners to gather from Wednesday evening onwards to remember the little girl.
Ms Fuller said: “[The vigil] will enable the community to come together and draw strength from each other. It will send a strong message to the family that we are thinking of them.”
Friends and family set up fundraiser
Close friends and family of Alice’s relatives have launched a GoFundMe fundraiser to help support the family during this difficult time. The fundraiser description reads: “We are seeking support in raising money to help towards cost of funeral and living in this desperate time of need.
“Anything that can be contributed will go towards supporting mum and family getting the help and support necessary In order to make this the most special and beautiful send off this little princess deserves. We greatly appreciate everyone’s love and condolences, please help us in allowing this family the time to grieve during this heartbreaking tragedy.”
The fundraiser has so far gained more than £3,500 in support. In an update, the organisers shared the thought’s of Alice’s family, saying: “Nothing has gone unnoticed and they are overwhelmed with the love felt by the community during this unthinkable tragedy.”
The force urged anyone with information to call 101 quoting reference number 20230131-1546 or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Reports can also be made online.