With the arrest of three women including a family member, Kalyan Railway Police on Friday claimed to have solved a case of suspected human sacrifice involving a 12-year-old boy, whose body was recovered from Khadavli river in Kasara in Thane.
On Monday, the body of Daksh Kanjode was found from the river here after local fishermen spotted it and informed the police.
The body was found dumped in the river wrapped in a plastic bag tied to a bucket.
A thorough probe into the crime led the police to the victim's step mother Lata Kanjode, who allegedly along with two other relatives killed the minor by strangulating him with a rope.
Later, the trio transported the body packed in a bucket by train to Kasara in the wee hours of July 1, which was found early this week.
Apart from Lata Kanjode (35), her sister Varsha Jadhav (25) and sister-in-law Latika Jadhav (30) were arrested in connection with the case.
According to the boy's maternal uncle, who lived nearby and had lodged a missing complaint with local police on July 9, the trio were often seen performing late night rituals but was unaware for their purpose and motives.
"We are now trying to find out if the boy's father was in anyway involved in the crime," said API MK Dhakane of Kalyan Railway Police.
According to police, this was the third marriage of the boy's father, Ramdas Kanjode. His first wife died in 2010 after which he re-married. Subsequently, his second wife too deserted him following which he tied the knot with accused Lata.
Police had earlier registered a case under Section 363 (kidnapping) of IPC after the boy went missing.
Later, when his body was found a case under sections 302, 201, 120B and 182 of the IPC was registered, police said.
The trio was presented in the court on Thursday and have been remanded into police custody till July 30, the officer said, adding that they are probing into the human sacrifice angle too.