A four-year-old girl child was found stabbed to death and her younger brother and mother discovered unconscious at their rented third-floor accommodation in central Delhi on Monday, with the Delhi Police struggling to ascertain the series of events leading to the incident till late on Tuesday evening.
"The complaint was filed by the victims' neighbours at the Patel Nagar police station at 9 pm on Monday evening and the victim has been identified as Sunaina," said a senior police officer requesting anonymity.
Seven-year-old Malti (name changed) discovered her mother Sushila (35) and younger brother Dev (2) lying on the floor when she returned to her house located in Baljeet Nagar's T block when she reached from school around 3:30 pm.
"I thought they were sleeping, so I had my lunch and went for my tuition class," Malti said.
The government school student realized something was amiss when she found Sushila and Dev in the same position when she returned home from her class.
"They were still lying in the same position when I went home from class at 7:30 pm. I tried looking for Muskaan but couldn't find her. So, I told the uncle who stays below our house about it," said Malti who studies in class I at a government school located in the adjacent Patel Nagar area.
The family's neighbour, Sanjay Rawat then accompanied Malti to her two-room house. Rawat recovered Muskaan's corpse from a kitchen adjacent to their rented room minutes later.
"The child's body had a stab wound on her neck. The body was completely stiff when it was discovered suggesting that she had been murdered in the afternoon," the officer said.
The four-year-old victim's father, Amar Bahadur (41) said their next-door neighbour Prakash Kumar was behind the incident.
"Prakash had come to our house and fed Frooti laced with sedatives to my wife and son. He is naturally behind the incident," Bahadur who works at an MNC in northwest Delhi's Peeragarhi area told Hindustan Times adding that the assailant had also ransacked his house and fled with some of his wife's jewellery.
Police said Prakash had been identified as the prime suspect in the case.
"He is missing since the incident took place and his phone is also switched off. We have launched a manhunt for him and a case of murder has been registered at the Patel Nagar police station," the officer added.