A five-year-old girl was raped, murdered and then her body dumped in front of her house in Kopri village in Vashi on Tuesday.
While the police said a suspect had been detained, sources claimed a 35-year-old electrician-cum-estate agent, Arun Pawar, had confessed that he raped the girl.
According to the APMC police, the victim lived in a chawl with her father, a labourer, mother, a house help, and two elder brothers.
“The girl’s parents were at work at the time of the incident,” said Ashok Sharma, police commissioner. “She was last seen playing outside her house at 3.30pm. When her parents returned in the evening, they couldn’t find her. They lodged a missing complaint with the police at 9.30pm.”
He added, “A police team went to the area and started search operations. When they were unable to find the girl even after four hours, her parents decided to go home. However, when they reached the house, they found her body lying outside.”
Fattehsingh Patil, additional commissioner of police, said medical tests confirmed that the girl had been raped and then murdered. “One suspect has been detained and we are interrogating him,” he said, refusing to give more details.
Sources said Pawar, who is likely to be formally arrested, was picked up as the police found his behaviour to be suspicious. He told the police that he had picked up the girl. He allegedly had unnatural sex with her, sources said.
When he found out about the police search operations, he panicked and dumped her body outside her house.
Police said the girl had suffered head injuries and had been suffocated to death. But there is no clarity whether Pawar strangulated her.