Kotzebue police put down dog they say killed 5-year-old boy

Michelle Theriault Boots

Kotzebue police have destroyed the husky-mix dog believed to have killed a 5-year-old boy in the Northwest Arctic town, the police chief said Monday.

Police said that the dog was tracked and captured near where the boy's body was found.

"(The dog) was determined to be the animal that had attacked and killed the child," said police chief Eric Swisher in a statement Monday.

Jordan Lee Reed went missing while playing in front of his family's home on Saturday night, police have said.

Local law enforcement and Kotzebue residents searched for the boy until he was found at 4:10 a.m. in a field on the outskirts of town.

Dog bites are a dangerous hazard for young Alaska children, state public health officials say.

Sunday's death is the fifth time a canine has killed a child in the past decade in Alaska, according to the state Bureau of Vital Statistics.

All of the victims were under the age of 6.

The last victim of a fatal dog attack was a 3-year-old Napaskiak girl who was mauled when she wandered into a dog yard in 2010.

The Alaska Trauma Registry, which tracks serious injuries, recorded an average of 23 dog bites per year for the past five years.

The most common age group injured was children under age four.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at mtheriault@adn.com or 257-4344.