RANDOLPH - A Morris County family is in mourning after their beloved pet was killed allegedly by a coyote.

The Rodriguez family says their 15-month-old Yorkshire terrier named Apache got loose a week ago. When they could not find him, they started to search the woods and even went door-to-door handing out fliers.

"It's a dangerous area because you're dealing with wildlife," says Ricardo Rodriguez. "In this yard, we've had bears...we had coyotes...numerous animals."

After a week of searching, the family noticed vultures circling their backyard Wednesday.

"As my sons went to go investigate it, there was our little Yorkie torn up," Rodriguez says.

Apache had bite wounds around his neck. The family buried him quickly, so state wildlife officials are unable to officially determine if it was in fact a coyote attack.

Given the recent string of coyote sightings in the area, the family wants other pet owners to be vigilant.