Girl (14) killed by pack of dogs near Wigan
Victim was alone in house with four animals when she was mauled
A cat perches on a fence outside a house where a 14-year-old girl was found dead amid a pack of aggressive dogs in Wigan, northern England. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters
Tributes have been paid to a 14-year-old girl who is thought to have been killed by a pack of “aggressive and out of control” dogs.
Jade Anderson’s body was discovered with wounds consistent with a dog attack at a house shortly after 2pm yesterday, following reports she was unconscious.
It is thought the teenager was visiting the property in Chaucer Grove, Atherton, near Wigan and was alone with the four dogs — two bull mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers — which were later shot by police marksmen.
A postmortem examination to establish how she died is due to take place. The dogs’ remains will also be examined as part of the investigation, police said.
A Greater Manchester Police (GMP) spokesman said: “Officers attended and found the body of a 14-year-old girl. They were confronted by a number of dogs that were aggressive and out of control.”
Armed officers shot the four dogs, while a fifth was contained, police said.
Superintendent Mark Kenny described the teenager’s injuries as being “consistent with her having been attacked by dogs”.
Mr Kenny added: “First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family of the girl who has tragically lost her life. Specialist officers are offering them every support.
“While our inquiries to find out what happened are ongoing, this girl’s injuries are consistent with her having been attacked by dogs.
“I understand this is an extremely distressing incident for all concerned, including the community, and we will work hard to establish the full circumstances that led to this tragedy.
“There will be a significant police presence in the area, which will remain this evening. We will be there to carry out an investigation and address any concerns residents may have.”
Friends paid tribute to the “quiet” and “timid” teenager, who is thought to have returned to the property from the shops with a meat pie when she was attacked.
Locals said Jade was visiting the property to see a friend, Kimberley Concannon (16), who lives there with her twin Catrina and mother Beverley Concannon.
The house is a two-storey, red brick, terraced housing association maisonette, on the Hag Fold estate.
Each property has a back yard surrounded by high wooden fencing and at number five a police officer was stationed outside the door as scenes of crime officers continued their work inside.
Signs at the front and back of the house warned, “Beware of the Dog.”
Teenagers who knew Jade said they had spoken to Kimberley’s twin sister, Catrina, who was not at the property when the dog attack happened.
One 15-year-old said: “She goes to my school in the year below.
“She’s dead shy, quite timid, if you didn’t know her you wouldn’t recognise her around and about. It’s horrible what’s happened.
“She picks her little sister up Sienna from school, every day and walks past my house.
“Ten minutes after it happened we were talking to the daughter of the dog’s owners, Catrina.
“She (Jade) had a pie in her hand and has gone to bite it, she moved the pie and the dog’s gone for her throat and then they have all gone for her.”
Another friend said the dogs at the house were large and aggressive animals.
“Every time you walk past the house they would be barking and barking and going mad,” she said.
“You would jump out of your skin.”
Jade’s parents live just a few streets away, but were too upset to talk tonight.
A man who identified himself only as Jade’s uncle, asked for the family to be left alone to come to terms with the tragedy.
He said: “We don’t even know what’s happened yet. Jade was brilliant.”
Jade was a pupil at Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley, which closed for the Easter break last Friday.
A message on the school’s Twitter feed said: “This afternoon we sadly lost one of our students, Jade Anderson. Our thoughts are with her parents and family.”
Over 4,500 people joined a Facebook group created to pay tribute to Jade.