The parents of a four-month-old baby killed in a dog attack have paid tribute to him as their “beautiful little angel”.
Archie Joe Darby died after being bitten by the dog at a house in Harwich Road, in Colchester, Essex at 3.10pm on Thursday, while his 22-month-old brother Daniel-Jay was seriously injured and remains in intensive care in hospital.
The boys' mother was also injured in the attack and has been released from hospital after treatment for minor injuries.
The children's parents said: “Our beautiful sons Archie Joe Darby and Daniel-Jay Darby are so, so loved by us all and were such happy little loveable boys.
“It doesn't seem real that our little Archie Bum has gone to heaven and our little Daniel is in intensive care because of a tragic, tragic incident involving a dog attack.
“We have lost our gorgeous little four-month-old baby and our beautiful 22-month-old boy is currently being treated for his injuries.
“Heaven has gained a beautiful little angel and he will be greatly missed by us all and our other little soldier is still fighting strong.
“Please, please, please can you all respect our privacy at this time.”
A post-mortem examination on Archie's body is expected to take place next week, Essex Police said.
The force said the dog, believed to be a Staffordshire bull terrier-type, had been put down with the consent of its owner and a post-mortem examination was due to take place on the animal on Friday.
Chief Inspector Elliott Judge said: “This is a tragic incident where a young child has lost his life.
“We can confirm the incident took place inside a house on Harwich Road, the dog has been destroyed, and no-one has been arrested.
“An investigation to establish the facts surrounding what happened is ongoing.
“This is obviously a very difficult time for the family, who are being supported by specially-trained officers.
“I would ask again for the media to respect their privacy.”
Neighbour Scott Mills, 24, who lives opposite, became aware of a “commotion” when he saw four police cars and two ambulances arrive at the family home.
Mr Mills was among a crowd of concerned neighbours and passers-by who gathered as emergency services cordoned off the road.
He said: “When we heard that a baby had died, everyone was very upset. It's dreadful and so tragic.
“There were a lot of children about because of the time - a lot of children were coming home from school.”
Another neighbour, who did not want to be named but was at home at the time of the incident, said: “The whole community is in shock. It's all very upsetting. You are caught off guard with these things.
“I am very upset about it all. My children saw it (the aftermath) and are very upset.”
Will Quince, MP for Colchester, tweeted: “So sad to hear of the death of a baby in a dog attack in Colchester.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his brother now at Colchester Hospital.”
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