Staff Reporter

Police say she was killed by a 16-year-old boy

KOLLAM: A five-year-old girl, Binila, who had been missing since Wednesday evening from her house at Ambalamkunnu, near here, has been found murdered. The body was found in a neighbouring house on Friday morning.

The police said she was killed by her neighbour, a 16-year-old boy, following a rape attempt. Punalur Deputy Superintendent of Police T. James said the boy had confessed to have committed the murder and he had been arrested.

The accused lives a few houses away from Binila's.

Both families were closely known to each other and Binila used to go to his house for watching television.

The police said that on Wednesday evening, while she was returning from school, he invited her to his house. There was no one there at that time. Binila left her school bag at home and went to his house. He allegedly made an attempt to rape her.

When she cried, he allegedly smothered her and it resulted in her death.

The police said that according to his confession, the accused quickly pushed the body to a corner under a cot and covered it with some old clothes and a few bags. He had plans to dump the body somewhere during the night. But, by that time, the news that Binila went missing spread through the neighbourhood and many were engaged in a search for her. This frustrated his plans.

The next day, Binila's parents lodged a complaint with the Pooyapally Police. A police team also searched for her on Thursday all over the neighbourhood, but in vain. The police said that on Friday, some of the neighbours sensed a stench from the house of the accused and wanted to search it. They were dissuaded by his mother, Susheela, who said that it was from some rotten coconuts. But there were a few who insisted on searching the house and during the search, they found the body. The police were immediately alerted.

Mr. James said the accused and his parents were soon taken into custody and questioned. He said that the police might also consider arresting his mother on charges of tampering with evidence. Binila's body was handed over to her parents after a post-mortem examination at Kottarakara Taluk Hospital. The post-mortem report had confirmed attempt to rape, Mr. James added.