A five-year-old child was found dead under mysterious circumstances, at a public park adjacent his southeast Delhi residence on Sunday morning, police said.
"The victim has been identified as Suraj, who went missing from his residence in Khanpur's DDA colony last evening," said a senior police officer, requesting anonymity.
According to the police, Suraj's father Raju said that he had last seen the boy before he left his home to play with his friend.
"The family searched for him till 11 pm last night and waited for him all night, thinking that he may have been staying over at a friend's house. They finally approached the local police station early in the morning," the officer said.
Police said they had received a call claiming that a child's body had been discovered at a public park an hour after being informed about Suraj's disappearance.
"A morning walker saw the body and informed us. It was identified as that of Suraj, when we brought it to the police station for the purpose of identification. The body has been
sent for post-mortem, which will be conducted tomorrow," said the officer.
According to police, injury marks were spotted on the victim's neck, suggesting that he had been assaulted to death.
"His neck had three to four scratch marks which suggest that he was in a scuffle with his assailant before being killed," said the officer.
"We have ruled out kidnapping for ransom, as the victim's family said that they did not receive any ransom call nor did they have enmity with anyone," the officer added.
Police said Suraj might have been attacked by an animal while he was in the park, but they were yet to be certain about this eventuality, as the post mortem is to be conducted on Monday.
"We have registered a case of murder and are investigating the incident from all possible angles," the officer added.