Man arrested for murder of eight-year-old niece

Thane: Navi Mumbai Police here claimed to have solved the case of abduction and murder of a Airoli girl with the arrest of her uncle, who killed the 8-year-old for revenge. 40-year-old Clarance Fonceca, a resident of Mira Road area here confessed to the revenge killing in a police interrogation on Thursday night, DCP Sahanji Umpa said. The girl–Franshela Sophia Fransisco Vaz–whose body was found in a decomposed state in the jungles of Bhayander here two days ago, was a Class III student.

According to police, the girl’s mother, Fonceca’s sister-in-law, had given a tongue-lashing to him during a bitter family quarrel recently, and he wanted to avenge the humiliation. On Monday evening, Fonceca, a sailor by profession, allegedly abducted his niece as she got down from her school bus in front of her residential building in Airoli. He asked her to get into his car, telling her that he had come to take her to his house in Mira Road as her mother too was there. But he strangled the girl on Ghodbunder road, removed her uniform and school batch before dumping the body into a drain, police said.

As many as 11 teams were formed to find the girl after her mother lodged a complaint with Rabale police on Monday evening. Subsequently, cops zeroed in on Fonceca after suspecting that someone known to the family could be involved. Police also relied on the eyewitness account of a 10-year-old boy from Sophia’s neighbourhood who told police that he had seen the girl talking to a man near her Airoli building–Ekvira Darshan–and that she accompanied him in his car. The accused after constant interrogation led the cops to the location where he had thrown the body, the DCP said.

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