Killer ‘aroused’ by breaking girls’ legs
WARNING: Disturbing content
A man accused of being a paedophile serial killer who used bricks to break the legs of little girls before raping and murdering them has been arrested in India.
The 20-year-old, named by local media as 'Sunil', was tracked down by police on suspicion of murder, after the body of a three-year-old girl was discovered in Gurugram, a city south west of New Delhi, on November 12.
The toddler's remains were found less than 300 metres from where she disappeared one day earlier. A coroner said the little girl had suffered a fractured skull and died from a "head injury with excessive internal bleeding" after being bludgeoned with a brick.
On Tuesday, Sunil was arrested about 515 kilometres away, in Magarpur village, Uttar Pradesh.
According to investigating officer Sumit Kuhar, Sunil confessed to the crime and similar violent attacks, while being interrogated over the death of the three-year-old.
Mr Kuhar said authorities were "shocked by his confessions as he not only raped and killed three young girls in Gurugram but four in Delhi, one in Jhansi and another in Gwalior in the last two years". Sunil reportedly told police that breaking his victims' legs with a brick before raping them was a "ritual that aroused him".
"He remembers the rapes, connecting them to the bhandaras (community kitchens offering free food during religious festivals) he had gone to," Mr Kuhar said.
"He would target children who came to get 'prasad' or free food and were alone.
"He chose children who were alone and away from their homes. He told us all he wanted was tasty food at bhandaras and young girls to satisfy his lust."
The suspect is alleged to have loitered near food stalls where he would lure little girls from slums with lollies and chocolates.
According to Mr Kuhar, Sunil would allegedly take his victims to abandoned areas where he'd attack them and later dump their bodies.
His first known alleged victim was a four-year-old girl who he was said to have kidnapped in 2016. Her body was found in the bushes behind Omaxe Mall on Sohna Road on November 27, the Times of India reports. Two months later, he allegedly struck again, preying on a five-year-old whose body was found 20 days later.
Authorities say Sunil may be one of the worst paedophile serial killers "known to Indian law enforcement agencies" if he is found to be guilty of all the allegations levelled against him.
According to police, he was difficult to trace because he was an itinerant who didn't have a phone, job or a fixed address.
Investigations are continuing.