Boy missing in remote community likely killed in dog attack, police say
A boy from a remote Northern Territory community who died on Saturday may have been the victim of a dog attack, police now believe.
It is thought the three-year old wandered off on New Year’s Eve before becoming lost and was attacked by at least one dog.
The boy from Hermannsburg Aboriginal community, southwest of Alice Springs, was first reported missing by family late on Friday night.
A large scale search led to him being found nearby at around 9am the following day, with severe injuries. He was taken for treatment at a local clinic, where he subsequently died.
“A pathology investigation has determined at this stage that there is attack consistent with animal attack,” Northern Territory Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Sachin Sharma said.
“We‘re not ruling out any foul play, but as I said, this is quite a significant revelation within our investigation.”
Two dogs from the community were seized by police and taken for forensic examination. The owners are not facing charges at this stage.
Police described the animals as “camp dogs”, a colloquial term for domestic dogs living in remote Indigenous communities.
A coronial investigation is underway and resilience officers have been deployed to support family and community members dealing with the tragedy.