A relaxed family barbeque in a quiet coastal town turned into an unimaginable horror for two young parents when their five-week-old baby was viciously mauled to death without warning by two Rottweilers.
Friends of little Mia Jade Riley’s family revealed how the child was asleep next to a table of six to eight adults at her grandfather’s home in Moruya, on the NSW south coast, on Saturday night when the tragedy occurred about 10.40pm.
They said the dogs were dozing harmlessly about three metres away from the bassinet when, for no apparent reason, they suddenly pounced on the sleeping newborn.
Just days earlier Mia Jade’s father Tom Riley had posted to the South Coast Spine Care’s Facebook page where he worked as a chiropractor, saying he planned to work only four days a week so he could spend more time with family.
He had tracked the exciting days before and after his and Lani Riley’s second child arrived.
Three heartbreaking posts show a blissful family utterly devoted to their newborn.
Friends of little Mia Jade Riley’s family (Mia Jade pictured with father Tom) have revealed how the child was asleep next to a table of six to eight adults at her grandfather’s home in Moruya, on the NSW south coast, on Saturday night when the tragedy occurred about 10.40pm
Medics at the nearby Moruya Hospital were unable to save Mia Jade (pictured) and she died shortly after midnight
One upload shows Mia Jade surrounded by love and care in a series of touching family snaps with the tiny baby girl, cradled by her young sister, mum and dad.
In the same post the proud father tells his patients that Mia Jade was ‘safely delivered at home’ on Monday, January 6.
He planned to return to work ‘after some much-needed family time surrounded by all my beautiful girls’.
But just days before the devastating attack, Mr Riley’s tells his patients he needs to give up a day at the clinic to ‘spend time with my kids’.
On Saturday, Mr and Mrs Riley leapt to prise the dogs off their baby girl as horrified guests at the dinner scrambled to help.
They bundled up the blood-soaked child and rushed her by car to the nearby Moruya Hospital.
But medics were unable to save her and she died from head injuries shortly after midnight.
‘Everyone there had to be involved to get the dogs off,’ a family friend told Daily Mail Australia.
‘There was a considerable amount of blood, it was terrible.
‘There was just no warning.
‘They were just having a family barbecue with the neighbours at the rear of the property and then they turned around the dogs were on her.
‘There were no other kids, the dogs weren’t running around and no-one was provoking the dogs or anything. They weren’t agitated or distressed.
‘It just happened out of nowhere.’
A friend said Tom and Lani Riley’s two-year-old daughter had also been around the dogs repeatedly since she was born without any incident
Two Rottweilers have been seized from the NSW south coast home following the death of a five-week baby girl (stock image of a Rottweiler is pictured)
He said the couple’s other two-year-old daughter had also been around the dogs repeatedly since she was born without any incident.
‘They have another child who has probably been in the same position or very similar,’ he said.
‘There’s never been an issue. It’s really horrible. It’s just beyond words.’
He said the tight-knit seaside town was reeling from the attack.
‘It’s really knocked this little community around,’ he said. ‘There’s nothing you can say. It’s just that tragic.
‘This will be really difficult for all the family to deal with. I spoke to the grandfather and he’s just in shock.’
The child’s father, local chiropractor Tom Riley and his wife Lani (both pictured), leapt to prise the dogs off their baby girl as horrified guests at the dinner scrambled to help
The bay girl was rushed to Moruya Hospital on Saturday night but died several hours later
Two Rottweilers have since been seized by Eurobodalla Shire Council.
A spokeswoman confirmed the dogs were seized by council rangers but was unable to comment further due to the ongoing police investigation.
The spokeswoman could not confirm if the dogs have been euthanised, which is standard practice following a fatal dog attack.
A NSW Police investigation has been launched into exactly what happened at the home and a police spokesman could not provide any further comment.