A dog which fatally mauled a six-month-old baby girl was an illegal American pit bull, police have said.
The Northamptonshire force also released a statement from the baby girl’s relatives, who said they had been left devastated by “the tragic loss of our little princess”.
The infant, who has not been named by police, died last Friday after being attacked at an address in Daventry. The animal was put down at the scene.
Investigators said they are looking into whether any offences had been committed.
Under the Dangerous Dogs Act it is illegal to own, breed, sell or trade American pit bulls.
Speaking at a news conference in Northampton, Chief Inspector Tom Thompson said the victim’s life had been “tragically taken away in the most horrific of circumstances”.
The district commander for Daventry, said: “The baby girl was confirmed dead shortly after the attack at her mother’s home in Morning Star Road on the Timken estate.
“At the time of the attack, she was being cared for by her maternal grandmother who suffered bite injuries attempting to protect the baby.
“The dog was destroyed by vets at the scene.
“Subsequently a post-mortem was carried out at the Royal Veterinary College with the assistance of dog legislation officers from this force and elsewhere.
“This was done to determine the breed of the dog responsible for the fatal attack
“We can reveal the outcome of that post-mortem has shown the dog was an American pit bull, a prohibited breed under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act.”
He added: “The family have made it very clear that they do not want us to name their child. We must remember that they’re grieving, they’re in shock.
“They have lost a child in the most tragic circumstances and we really must respect their wishes.”
In their statement, the baby’s relatives said: “The family wish to say at this point that we are totally devastated and in complete shock for the tragic loss of our little princess and ask that we are left alone to grieve at this horrific time.”
Police have referred the circumstances of the death to a serious case review committee, which will meet next month to consider whether it should be investigated by Northamptonshire’s Safeguarding Children Board.
An inquest will be formally opened by the Northamptonshire coroner next Wednesday.