Crime
Devi plunged the child’s head into a bucket of water and drowned her.
Screenshot from YouTube/Puthiya Thalaimurai

A day after the body of a four-year-old child was found in Villivakkam, city police have arrested a neighbour in connection with the murder.

The woman, identified as Devi (35), admitted to having killed the girl due to personal enmity with the child’s mother, according to investigating officials.

The victim, Kavya, lived with her parents in Bharathi Nagar in Villivakkam. On Tuesday, her father had left for work and her mother left the child at home to go buy groceries. When she came back, the child was missing. After the parents unsuccessfully scoured the neighbourhood to locate their child, they filed a complaint the same night with the police.

On Wednesday morning, a passer-by noticed the body in an empty ground near the child’s residence and informed the police.

According to reports, blood was oozing from the child’s nose and there was froth at the mouth when the body was recovered. The body was moved to the Government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital for an autopsy. Doctors at the hospital told police that the child died of drowning.

Devi, who was questioned by the police on Thursday night, admitted that she plunged the child’s head into a bucket of water and drowned her in order to settle scores with her neighbours.

“The parents and Devi would often get into petty quarrels and it had been happening for some time now,” says an investigating official. Devi had moved to the area three months ago. “Due to accumulated hatred and with the intention of depriving a mother of her child, she killed Kavya,” he adds.

In February this year, a three-year-old child was found dead at a dumpyard in Ennore and her neighbour had been arrested for the murder. According to the police, she had committed the crime to steal the child’s jewellery and had pretended to be unaware of the child’s whereabouts.

“That was a crime with a different motive,” says the investigating official. “But what is clear from this incident is that you can’t leave such a young child, who is dependent on you, alone at home. There are other dangers such as sharp objects and electrocution, leave alone abduction,” he advises.

Devi is currently being held at the Villivakkam station under judicial custody.