A woman of Panjgrain Kalan village, 9 km from Kotkapura, has been arrested on charge of strangulating her 18-month old nephew out of jealousy.
Murder suspect Veerpal Kaur allegedly killed victim Khushraj Singh since she did not bear a son.
The toddler's father Sukhdev Singh lives in a joint family with his brother Sukhbir, whose wife is the suspect.
The boy went missing on late Friday, while playing either inside the house or on the street. "All the villagers gathered quickly," said Roop Singh, Sukhdev's neighbour. "With the help of the police, we checked along the village canal and at the crematorium. We feared the boy had been kidnapped for sacrifice."
Khushraj, however, had been strangulated and bundled in a cupboard in the house. The body lay there until 5am on Saturday, when villagers claimed they caught Veerpal trying to throw the body out of her house.
"Veerpal killed the boy out of jealousy," said a police officer. "She has a daughter and is pregnant with a girl child again. Another daughter of her has died. She was jealous that her brother-in-law had a son."
The boy's father is a poor vegetable vendor in the village. His brother works at a grocery. "We are shocked to know that the boy's aunt could do it," said an old man of the village.
"Suspect Veerpal Kaur has confessed to her crime," said Manoj Kumar, station house officer of Bajakhana. "We arrested her under Section 302 (murder) of IPC." The body was sent for autopsy.