A 7-year-old boy was fatally mauled by his dog last week in Oklahoma, authorities said.
The child was first reported missing about 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, and when deputies arrived to the home, south of Kiefer, where the report originated, “A family member located the child on the property. … The preliminary investigation indicates the child was attacked by a family pet (dog),” according to a statement from the Creek County Sheriff’s Office.
The child was pronounced dead about 7:35 p.m. that night, the statement said.
The sheriff’s office said it was working with the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office in the investigation.
The sheriff’s office and the medical examiner’s office could not be reached Tuesday.
NBC affiliate KJRH in Tulsa identified the dead boy as 7-year-old James McNeelis. The news station reported the boy’s father found him dead.
KJRH spoke to the boy’s grandmother, who described him as “sweet, loving and joyful.”
The grandmother said the family had the stray, corgi-mix dog for about three weeks prior. It had not shown previous signs of aggression, the grandmother said.
KJRH also reported the family was “devastated” and in “disbelief,” according to the grandmother.
The boy’s father, Michael McNeelis, shared his heartbreak in a post on Facebook.
“He was so full of life and light and he was going to change the world. And he still is. His light will change the world,” the post read. “We feel alone and lost without him and we’re doing all we can but it’s just hard. Everything just hurts without my little boy here.”
The dog was being held at an animal control facility, according to the sheriff's office. It was not known Tuesday if it had been euthanized.
Kiefer is about 100 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.