A pit bull terrier-type dog prohibited under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 has mauled a baby girl to death while she slept in Blackburn, Lancashire, England. Her mother and her partner have been arrested for alleged manslaughter.
The large American pit bull terrier-type dog, ironically named Killer, attacked 11-month old Ava-Jayne Marie Corless on Monday evening.
Paramedics who responded to the emergency call described the baby and her mauling injuries as "horrific." She later died at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.
Little Ava-Jayne was upstairs while her mother Chloe King and partner Lee Wright were downstairs when the savage attack happened. The pair reportedly tried to pull Killer off baby Ava-Jayne.
"This is an absolutely horrific incident in which a baby girl has lost her life," Ch Supt Chris Bithell said.
"As part of the investigation we are making inquiries to see whether there have been previous issues with this particular dog," he said. "I'm told it's quite a large pit bull-type dog."
Killer, it seems, had brought his master enough trouble previously.
According to RSPCA inspectors, they had previously responded to at least two complaints from neighbours concerning pit bull terrier-type dog Killer in 2012 and 2013.
"Two years ago the RSPCA was contacted about a cat which had been attacked and died after going into a garden at this address. There was no suggestion that the incident was anything other than an accident and no further action was taken. There were no children living at the address," a spokesman for the RSPCA said.
"Later that year the RSPCA was again contacted regarding concerns for the health of a litter of puppies at the address. An officer attended and the dogs were all under veterinary care and receiving the treatment they required."
The two puppies were signed over to the RSPCA, which were subsequently found new homes.
But neighbours in the quiet street of Blackburn, Lancashire, claimed Killer was often menacing and had caused fear in the area.
Ms King and Mr Wright were arrested on alleged child neglect and manslaughter. But they are currently released on bail pending further inquiries.
Police will conduct a post mortem to determine the exact cause of baby Ava-Jayne's death.
Killer had since been destroyed. Tests are now currently being carried out to establish the exact breed of the animal.