A nine-year-old boy was strangled to death and burnt before his kidnapper made ransom calls to his family, police say.
Deekshith Reddy was reportedly abducted by mechanic Manga Sagar in Mahabubabad district in India.
He was lured away from his pals after Sagar offered him a joyride on his bike on Sunday.
Police said Sagar was known to the youngster’s family as they were from the same village, so he readily agreed to go.
The boy’s dad, businessman Rajith Reddy, had recently bought a property, the Times of India reported.
Sagar is said to have hatched the kidnapping plot in an attempt to squeeze him for cash.
But he seemingly developed cold feet and murdered him instead, according to police.
He throttled the lad to death and doused his body in petrol, which he burnt so he could not be identified.
After carrying out the killing he then made calls to his family demanding a ransom, investigators said.
The body was discovered on Thursday, around three miles from his family home.
Mahabubabad Police Superintendent N Koti Reddy said: “The boy was killed the same day he was kidnapped.
“Sagar feared that the boy will disclose his identity.
“So he throttled him, poured petrol and burnt the boy so the boy could not be identified.
“After killing the boy, Sagar made VoIP calls to the family for ransom.”
Police arrested Sagar after officers discovered CCTV footage, and snared him when he visited a relative to collect money.
He reportedly admitted the boy had been murdered.
Until then, local officers believed the youth was alive and it was being treated as a kidnap case.
Investigators are said to be looking at whether a relative had any role in the kidnapping plot.
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