A 23-year-old Indian has been arrested and charged with manslaughter for the killing of three-year-old Gurshan Singh Channa.
Gursewak Dhillon, who lived in the same house that Gurshan’s parents did, was denied bail late on Saturday.
In a case that rocked Melbourne city, Gurshan went missing on Thursday afternoon and was found dead six hours later in the western suburb of Lalor, which is 20 kms from his home.
“(Dhillon) placed the child in the boot of his car unconscious but still alive,” Ron Iddles, Senior Sergeant of the homicide squad, told the Australian Associated Press (AAP).
Gurshan was driven around for nearly three hours before being dumped in the relatively deserted area of Oakland Junction, in the city’s north, police said.
Why Gurshan fell unconscious or was allegedly carried away by Dhillon is not yet clear.
There is not even firm indication that Gurshan was dead when Dhillon left him in the long grass.
In a statement, the bereaved parents, Harjit Singh Channa and Harpreet Kaur, said: “We are very thankful to Indian community, the Punjabi community and the Australian people. They all are coming forward to help us.”
The parents were allowed to see the body of their only child on Saturday, but the body has not yet been handed over yet.
Dhillon was one among a number of people, mostly Indian students — and including Gurshan’s parents — who shared the same premises. He is not related to the Channas.
The case evoked extraordinary interest because Australia has seen a number of attacks on Indians over the past year.
(with Agency inputs)