Police on Sunday announced the arrest of a minor in connection with the reported murder of a four-year-old child in Zarqa on Saturday.
Nibal A. D.’s body was found buried under rubble in a building next to her home and her 17-year-old neighbour was named as the alleged perpetrator by Police Spokesperson Lt. Col. Amer Sartawi.
“We arrested a suspect who reportedly confessed to murdering the child after attempting to sexually assault her,” Sartawi told The Jordan Times.
In his initial confession to police, the suspect claimed that the victim and her mother visited their home and after they left “he followed her and took her to a deserted location in the building to rape her”, according to a statement by the Public Security Department (PSD).
The victim started screaming so the minor allegedly “grabbed a blunt object and struck the victim’s head repeatedly in an attempt to silence her then placed rubble over her body and left,” according to the statement.
A post-mortem at the Zarqa National Institute of Forensic Medicine indicated that the child suffered from multiple blows to the head that caused a fractured skull, a medical source told The Jordan Times.
“Forensic experts estimated that the child had been dead for the past three days,” according to the medical source.
Nibal's family reported their daughter missing on Wednesday after she had failed to return home.
On Saturday, police announced that they had found the body of the child in the basement of a building near her home in Zarqa with the help of a K-9 unit dog.
Judicial sources told The Jordan Times that the expected punishment for a minor in the crime carries a maximum punishment of 12 years in detention.
“The minor will be tried at a juvenile court and will not be treated as an adult as stipulated in the juvenile law,” a senior judicial source at the Criminal Court general prosecutor’s office said.
The senior source said that the punishment for the suspect’s offence ranges from six to 12 years in detention at a juvenile correctional and rehabilitation facility.
Hundreds of people took to social media in the last two days to express their outrage and shock over the murder of Nibal.
Columnist Batir Wardam Tweeted: “The details of the murder of Nibal are the most horrific and ugly that we have heard of recently. Is it possible that the danger would come from the neighbour? Is our society really going downhill?”
Former minister Nabil Sharif also Tweeted about the murder, describing it as “one of the most brutal and monstrous crimes in Jordan”.
“The murder of Nibal should ring thousands of alarm bells in our society to study these scary changes in the value system before it is too late,” Sharif wrote.
Meanwhile, Safa Mohammad Tweeted: “[Nibal] the entire Kingdom is crying over your murder. May God give strength to your family”.
According to media outlets and the PSD statement, protesters late on Saturday allegedly set fire to the building where the young girl’s body was found.
“The protesters also threw rocks at the police, striking two to people who were in the area and forcing the police to fire teargas to disperse the protesters,” the PSD statement said.
The suspect was referred to the juvenile prosecutor for further questioning and indictment, according to Sartawi.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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