A 15-year-old boy was arrested on Wednesday for kidnapping and murdering his eight-year-old cousin. The teenager told police that on Sunday, he picked up Dheeraj Pandit from near his Gorai home and took him to his own house, hoping to extort Rs1 lakh as ransom from his parents. But when Dheeraj started shouting for help, the teenager strangled him to death, stuffed his body in a box, and threw it in a nullah the next day.
Investigators traced the kidnap to the teen through a handwritten ransom note sent to the family. Police said the teenager had withdrawn Rs50,000 from his father’s bank account to fund an ambitious tech project. The boy wanted to replace the cash before his father came to know. To raise the money, he decided to kidnap his cousin.
When Dheeraj could not be found till late on Sunday, his family lodged a police complaint. On Tuesday, they received the ransom note, which asked for the money to be kept in a box on the bathroom stairs. The specifics led police to suspect an insider’s involvement. They started questioning the family, and also went through notebooks of all the children. They found a half-torn page in the accused’s book, and found that his handwriting matched that on the ransom note.
The teenager was arrested and sent to a juvenile correction home. The child’s body was fished out of the nullah on Wednesday.