A Nepalese man has confessed to the murder of a young boy after saying a local holy man advised him that a human sacrifice would heal his ailing son, local police said.
The body of 10-year-old Jivan Kohar was found on July 24 on the outskirts of Kudiya village in southwest Nepal. The child had gone missing three days earlier.
Police superintendent Nal Prasad Upadhyaya, who headed the investigation, told CNN on Monday that Kodai Harijan admitted committing the gruesome crime with his relatives after consulting the priest. In some cultures, priests are believed to have magical or spiritual powers to cure the sick.
According to testimony given to police, Harijan and his relatives found the child playing with friends in the village and lured him away by giving him a pack of biscuits and promising him 50 rupees (49 cents).
The boy was taken to a temple on the outskirts of the village, where they performed a religious ritual. He was then taken to a field nearby, where three people held him down as another slit his throat. When police found him, the boy's head was almost severed from his body.
Eleven people in total, including the holy man, have been arrested for their involvement, with the perpetrators facing a life sentence. At least five have confessed to their part in the killing.