Jeddah, 1 July 2009 – Investigations with the six men taken under custody in connection with the killing and burial of an 8-year-old Somali girl have revealed gruesome details about the whole issue.
Police found the body of the girl buried in an under-construction building in Bab Shareef District here on Friday. Besides the six Somalis, the grandmother of the girl was also arrested.
The girl was buried with her clothes on and her head severed, according to the forensic doctor who examined her body. The alleged culprits had admitted that the burial took place about 20 days ago.
Investigators are trying to verify whether the arrested men were involved in any previous crimes. They are also looking into whether the girl’s body had any scars or bruises indicating she was subjected to physical assault. The forensic expert, according to reports, has failed to pinpoint the exact causes of the severed head.
Preliminary reports indicate that the girl was buried with her clothes on. She was neither washed nor was she wrapped in a shroud (Kafan). She was wearing a T-shirt and a pair of trousers.
Col. Misfir Al-Je’aid, the spokesperson of Jeddah Police, said investigations are going on with the arrested men and some of them have proved to be illegal residents.
The girl’s grandmother was arrested Friday after receiving information from a mysterious caller claiming that her neighbor had killed her own granddaughter.
The woman caller said her neighbor repeatedly beat her granddaughter severely, and that the child’s absence from view for several days had concerned her enough to alert the authorities.
Police, acting on directions given by the caller concerning the street and the color of the house door, entered the premises of a Somali family who neighbors said had been receiving guests for a funeral wake, and arrested the elderly woman who initially told investigators that her granddaughter had died after suffering diarrhea and fever, and said she had given her to the girl’s mother who took the body to an unknown address.
When police brought in the mother of the child they discovered that she had known of the death of her daughter, but had left it to others to arrange her burial through a group of Somalis who charged SR400 to carry out the operation at a site where they believed the body would not be discovered.
By Ibrahim Alawi