Coroner IDs boy killed by dog

Gauge Eckenrode was kindergarten student at Baker Elementary

Blair County Coroner Patricia Ross on Friday identified the 6-year-old boy who was killed Thursday by his family’s dog as Gauge Eckenrode.

Gauge was a kindergarten student at Baker Elementary, and the Altoona Area School District issued a statement of condolence.

“It is with heartfelt regret that we acknowledge the untimely death of a student at Baker Elementary School. On behalf of the Altoona Area School District, we wish to convey our sincere condolences to the family. The death of a student affects the entire school community, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the parents, family and friends during this difficult time.”

District spokeswoman Paula Foreman said Altoona School District counselors, in collaboration with UPMC Altoona Behavioral Health Services, will be available at the school for students, staff and faculty.

The boy died of blunt force trauma from a dog attack, and an autopsy was expected to be performed Friday, Ross said.

Rick Vaughan, a friend of the boy’s family who lives a few blocks away, told the Mirror on Thursday night the boy died after the family dog attacked him just before 6 p.m. Thursday at a home on Gesser Avenue in Lakemont.

Vaughan spoke on behalf of the family and said the boy’s father was cutting grass, heard the mother screaming and rushed to find “the dog on the boy.”

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