A man raped and drowned his five-year-old stepdaughter in a bathtub after her mum asked him for a divorce.
Aleksandr Pilipenko, 44, was jailed for life after being found guilty of the brutal murder of Daria Pilipenko at their home in Crimea.
He dressed the little girl's body and buried it on the outskirts of the village of Kropotkine before reporting her missing, local reports said.
Two days later, he confessed to the savage killing and led the cops to her body and was charged with rape and murder of a minor.
He was jailed for life at the Crimean Supreme Court on Monday as the mother remains in a mental health facility, The Sun reports.
"The stepfather battered the girl during her bath time before committing acts of sexual nature against her," police official Olga Postnova said.
"After that, he drowned her in the bathtub."
Detectives said he killed Daria after her 23-year-old mum, Yekaterina Pilipenko, asked him for a divorce.
Yekaterina's relatives said the young mum had decided to put an end to the relationship due to domestic abuse.
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After Daria was killed in November 2019, Yekaterina sought medical help.
The heartbroken mum was hospitalised in a mental health facility after her daughter's funeral – where she is still being treated.
"She 'takes Daria to school' and 'talks' to her. She does not believe that her daughter is no longer alive," her relatives said.
"At first, she realised that the girl was buried, but then something went wrong. Doctors give positive predictions."
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If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 0845 30 30 900 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.
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