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Authorities: Dog attack kills Georgia 4-year-old

Posted at 5:44 PM, Sep 06, 2012
and last updated 2012-09-06 17:44:21-04

DONALSONVILLE, GA (WTVR) – Police in Georgia are investigating the death of a four-year-old boy officials have determined was attacked by a dog.

Police said the boy’s mother, Samantha Roland, reported him missing Wednesday afternoon.

A search began around 8:30 p.m. involving numerous law enforcement agencies, including a state police chopper. Crews combed the area in hopes of bringing the boy home safely.

However, Thomasville GBI Agent Steve Turner said search crews found the child’s shirt, and later recovered his body in the front yard of his home.

"By that time it was already dark and the grass was high. It took a while for somebody to come walking upon him and actually see him in the yard," said Turner.

According to officials, the child’s mother was inside the home when deputies found the body outside.

Authorities said on Thursday that the boy died as a result of blunt force trauma from a dog attack. 

Tabitha Smith, the boy’s aunt, told WALB-TV Thursday that they boy wandered outside during a ten-minute window when his mother took a shower.

"If you have a vicious dog please, please keep it away from other people and where it cannot get out and that way this tragic accident does not have to happen to another family like it has ours," said Smith.

Officials have not yet identified the dog responsible for the boy's death.