A community has united in grief at a vigil for a four-year-old girl who was mauled to death by a family pet in his garden.
People gathered to mourn the loss of Alice Stones at a church near home on Wednesday night.
Police were called to the house in Broadlands, Netherfield, Milton Keynes, by the ambulance service on Tuesday and Alice died at the scene.
The end-of-terrace house remained cordoned off by police tape on Wednesday and flowers and soft toy tributes piled up on the pavement.
Thames Valley Police said no arrests have been made and investigators are working to identify the dog’s breed.
The animal was destroyed by police on Tuesday afternoon.
About 100 people attended a vigil held at Grand Union Vineyard Church, on the Netherfield Campus, across the street from the house on Wednesday night.
Prayers were said for the family as people gathered, holding candles, in the dark in a green space at the back of the place of worship.
There were moments of reflection as music played over the speakers, including Amazing Grace and Over The Rainbow.
Donna Fuller, district councilor for Woughton Community Council, said the area has a “tight-knit community, mainly families”.
He said the vigil was to “allow the community to come together and draw strength from each other.”
He added: “It will send a strong message to the family that we are thinking of them.”
He said there was “such a feeling of shock” and it was a “terrible situation”.
He told the gathered crowds: “This family will need time and space to allow them to process this tragic event and I hope we can do that and help them in the future.
“I would ask that we support each other.
“There’s a sense of deep sadness that we’re going to feel as a community, so I’m asking you to be neighborly and I’m asking you to be supportive and most of all I’m asking you to be kind.” Neighbor Rita Matthews, 36, said she would see the child while walking her own daughter to school and
Among the floral tributes they left for the young man, one of them read: “Alice!! Fly high with the little angels. The whole community will miss your smile. Our thoughts are with all the family, especially her mum.’
Police said there would be an increased officer presence in the area with “reassurance patrols during early and late shifts”.
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