A four-year-old girl missing for nearly 62 hours was found dead, less than 150 metres from the Tungagaon Police Chowky. The decomposed body was found on Wednesday afternoon.
Police claim the child was found during a combing operation by officers attached with the Powai police station, in a four feet deep pit dug in a private property.
“The minor had been missing since 11 pm on March 6 and was found at 1 pm on Wednesday. The body was in a decomposed state and we registered a case of murder. We are probing all angles and so far over a dozen suspects have been detained,” said Vinay Deshmukh, zonal deputy commissioner of police.
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Police, however, are awaiting results of the minor’s medical examination to ascertain if rape charges should be included. “The minor was not clad. Two of her garments were found beside her,” an officer added.
The child was reported missing from near her home on Sunday, after the neighbourhood went chasing a mobile phone thief who was later arrested. However, in the chaos, the girl went missing.
“The mobile phone thief seems to have no role in the girl’s disappearance. He has been in our custody since that night and we made several inquiries with him, but no leads emerged in the minor’s kidnapping or murder,” Deshmukh said.
According to an investigator, the minor had been living in a Powai slum with her grandparents as her mother and father were in Amravati since December, undergoing training for the police and the railways services respectively.
Deshmukh said the police are still trying to ascertain the cause of death and added that the investigators have not recovered any object as evidence from where the body was found.
“There was no depression on the skull nor did it appear that girl’s neck was snapped. We have assembled nine teams who are probing the matter from various angles,” Deshmukh added.
Just two days ago, on Monday, body of another four-year-old girl was found in Mankhurd, similarly at an unused site of a private property.
“We have already coordinated with the police investigating the Mankhurd murder and there appears to be no connection with this case. They are following different leads in the case,” Deskhmukh added. The rape and murder in Mankhurd remains undetected.
A senior police officer said an inquiry will be initiated in this case to look if there was any lapse by officers attached with the beat chowky on the other side of the road from where the minor was found. The victim’s house is about 100 meters from the police chowky.
Though the spot where the body was found is believed to be restricted, there are two possible entry points to trespass the area, police said. “The watchman of the property has also been detained,” a senior police officer said.