Police on Thursday arrested five persons on charges of raping and murdering a 10-year-old girl at Chendrampalayam village near Vazhapadi here recently.

Police said that the girl was asleep along with her parents and siblings at their house on Friday night, but was missing the following morning. Her body was found hanging from a tree just half-a-km from her house. Post-mortem confirmed that she had been raped. Five special teams were formed to nab the accused.

Investigations revealed that S.  Boopathi (31),  a busconductor and Ward member in the village panchayat, P. Anandbabu alias “snake” Babu (29), a lorry driver and A. Anandan (21), D. Prabakaran (26) and D. Balu alias Balakrishnan (28) — all labourers — were involved in the crime.

Boopathi, who resided near the girl’s house, was nabbed first as his replies during an inquiry by the police caused suspicion.

He led the police on to the others.