Indonesian parents have been arrested for allegedly drowning their seven-year-old daughter in an exorcism ritual because they believed she was possessed by an ape-like demon.
The incident took place in the village of Bejen, in the Indonesian province of Central Java, on Sunday.
According to Top Metro News, the aunt of the young victim, identified as A.L., enquired about her whereabouts last week during the Eid al-Fitr Muslim festival.
The girl’s grandfather reportedly said that the victim had not visited him in four months because she had been ill.
They decided to visit the girl at her home where they reportedly found her decomposing remains.
The girl’s parents, whose names not disclosed, allegedly admitted to carrying out an exorcism ritual because they believed she was possessed due to her ‘naughty' behaviour, according to the news site Coconuts Jakarta
The couple’s neighbours reportedly told them that their daughter was possessed by a mythical ape-like creature from Java known as Genderuwo.
According to reports, the parents allegedly submerged the girl in water multiple times until she died.
They then allegedly put the girl’s body on a bed and the neighbours said that she should wake up one day.
After finding the victim’s rotting remains, the aunt and grandfather told the village chief who then contacted the authorities.
The local police have arrested the four people accused of taking part in the exorcism, while the victim’s body has been sent for an autopsy.
Police spokesperson Benny Setyowadi said they suspect one of the neighbours is a village shaman.
The spokesperson did not confirm if the girl died four months ago, but said the body was badly decomposed and only skin and bones remained.
The investigation is ongoing.
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