A man has been arrested for raping and strangling to death his five-year-old stepdaughter, before dumping her body on a plot of land in a cardboard box.
The dead body of Maria Clara Calixto Nascimento was found on a plot of land in the Brazilian municipality of Hortolandia on the morning of 18th December.
Her body showed signs of strangulation and the five-year-old girl’s stepfather identified as Cassio Martins Camilo subsequently confessed to raping her and strangling her.
The girl’s great-grandmother, Ilza Viana Nascimento, told local media that the girl had been acting differently in the days before her death and had complained of pain.
The Gran said: “She would go to the bathroom and take a long time. ‘Maria, are you showering? What’s going on?’ ‘Grandma, I’m in pain.’ ‘What is it, my girl?’ ‘I go to wee and it hurts’.”
Maria Clara had been missing since the morning of 17th December when she went out to play at a neighbour’s house and did not return.
Her 25-year-old mother arrived home for lunch and asked her partner about her daughter’s whereabouts, to which he replied that he was asleep at the time and did not see her leave the house.
The family filed a police report and the police found the girl’s stepfather in the nearby municipality of Campinas around the same time as the discovery of the body. Officers took him to the police station, where he confessed to the crime.
He has since been placed in preventive detention amid rioting by angry residents, who set off smoke bombs in the police station and burnt tyres in the street.
Lifeless Maria Clara was found by family and friends and her mother picked her up with her own hands and took her to hospital. However, she was pronounced dead upon arrival.
The police have revealed that the girl’s stepfather had cleaned the whole house in an attempt to conceal his crime before he changed his mind and confessed.
Maria Clara was buried in Hortolandia on 19th December.
The police are currently investigating whether her stepfather acted alone or if there were accomplices involved.
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