Police in Odisha state, India, have said the man, Subhoban Rana, confessed to killing his sister Janani to gain favour with the goddess Durga just days after he was let out of prison on bail for a similar crime.
Janani had left home with her 28-year-old brother on 24 December and did not return.
Her family then filed a missing person report at the local police station, although villagers reportedly suspected the brother due to his arrest for a human sacrifice in 2018.
“After he confessed to his crime, we arrested him and took our team to a forest where we recovered the girl’s headless body,” Madkar Sandeep Sampat, the police superintendent for the Balangir district, said.
Mr Sampat added that Rana had been arrested with a man called Kunja for sacrificing the latter’s nine-year-old nephew in October 2018.