Pathanamthitta: A 23-year-old Tamil Nadu native has been arrested for the brutal assault and murder of his five-year-old stepdaughter at Kumbazha in Pathanamthitta.
Alex, a native of Rajapalayam in Tamil Nadu, was arrested as per the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act.
Though he was taken into custody on Monday morning, he managed to flee from the police station late in the night even while handcuffed. Then a search was carried out by the police and local people, and he was finally nabbed from a marshy area in Kumbazha early on Tuesday.
The post-mortem held at the Kottayam Medical College Hospital revealed that the child was sexually abused and had been a victim of a brutal assault. Earlier too, the child had been brutally assaulted several times, the police said.
The couple from Rajapalayam in Tamil Nadu have been living on rent at Kumbazha in the district.
The woman had two children from her first marriage. The dead girl was her eldest daughter. The youngest daughter is in Tamil Nadu.
The incident happened on Monday afternoon. The woman, who returned after work, found the child unconscious with knife wounds all over the body. She had left the child with the stepfather at home when she went to work.
Though the girl was rushed to the general hospital, her life could not be saved.
The police said that the accused did not work and spent his time drinking at home.
After taking into custody from Kumbazha, he jumped out of the police vehicle but was overpowered. As he was under the influence of alcohol when brought to the station, he was questioned in detail late in the night.