Police said Agatha Nicole Silva was still alive when she was allegedly flung into the water near Rio, Brazil
Police said Agatha Nicole Silva was still alive when she was allegedly flung into the water by her neighbour Alexandre da Silva Alves.
CCTV footage shows the suspect lugging a suitcase on his shoulder beside a river in Brazil
The man stops by a gate and hurls the case into the water with a six-year-old girl inside
He calmly walks on, leaving the child to drown inside the suitcase
Agatha’s body was found with scratches and bruises on her head. Preliminary reports suggest she suffocated and drowned.
Alves, 43, is said to have kidnapped and raped the youngster before shutting her in the case and chucking it into the river in Engenho Novo, north Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Surveillance footage aired on Brazilian TV showed a man holding a case on his shoulder and hurling it through a gate into the water.
Reports said Alves was recognised by his own son, aged ten, and other family members persuaded the suspect to give himself up.
Agatha was playing close to home with other kids in the area when she went missing around 5pm last Thursday.
Witnesses said a man approached the children and called the girl to go with him.
Agatha knew Alves and had often played with his daughter, who was of the same age.
The victim’s relatives said the accused had been a neighbour for more than four years and had always been friendly with the family despite being a known drug user.
Agatha Nicole Silva was abducted while playing near her home in Engenho Novo last Thursday
Cops and relatives mounted a search for missing Agatha, whose body was found at 11pm after passersby spotted the suspect acting strangely near the stream.
Agatha’s grandmother Edir Silva said: “A woman told my daughter she had seen a man throwing a suitcase into the river around 10pm.
“It had made a heavy thud and she was worried about what was inside it.
“My daughter ran to look for the trunk and when she called her daughter’s name she could hear the child respond very faintly. But she couldn’t reach the suitcase in time and we believe Agatha was too weak to survive the impact and her injuries.”
Alexandre da Silva Alves was charged with rape and murder after handing himself into police
Investigators said Alves, who had recently separated from his wife, raped and assaulted the girl in his house just yards from where she lived.
Rio police chief Fabio Cardoso said: “A suspect came to the police station on Friday afternoon with two pastors from a church he said he attended, and gave his testimony.
“He was arrested and charged with the murder and rape of a minor. He has been detained in police cells and will face more detailed questioning as we continue our investigations.”
Detectives said Alves has previous convictions for drug trafficking and attempted murder and was released from prison in 2008.
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