Australian police are hunting the killer of a three-year-old Indian toddler who was found dead after he went missing from his house here.
The Victorian state police said a toddler’s body was found on Thursday evening by a council worker in long grass matched the description of missing boy Gurshan Singh Kaurchanna who went missing from Lalor suburb.
Gurhsan was in Australia on holiday with his family and was due to return to India later this week. The body was found around 30 kms away from his residence.
Reacting to the incident, Victorian premier, Mr John Brumby, said: “This is an unthinkable tragedy. My heart goes out to the young boy’s family in what must be such a terrible time. Police will do everything in their power to establish who is responsible and bring them to justice.”
On Thursday night, a media report quoted the deputy police commissioner, Mr Ken Jones, as saying “Clearly, the circumstances are suspicious so we are fearing the worst.”
“We are treating it as a homicide,” Mr Jones said adding that police were probing number of areas and there were no suspects at this stage.
The toddler’s mother, Harpreet Kaur Channa, rang the police after he had been missing for 45 minutes, prompting a massive search involving more than 15 police units, the dog squad and air wing.
Mr Jones said the boy’s body was found fully clothed in blue jeans and a grey top. But he said he could not say how he died.
Mr Jones said the boy’s Punjabi-speaking parents were talking with police interpreters and were due to formally identify the body later on Thursday night.
He further said “I would ask for calm and support from media to allow investigators time and space to conclude a thorough investigation.”
The deputy police commissioner said the Victoria police would use every resource at its disposal and investigate every possibility to ensure the killer was brought to justice.
“We are not ruling anything in or anything out,” he said.
“If foul play has taken place we will do everything in our power to find out what has taken place and to bring people to justice,” he added.
Harpreet Kaur, who is studying in Australia, and another member of the household frantically searched the home when they realised that he had disappeared.
When they couldn’t find the boy, Ramen Deep Singh, the cousin of the boy’s father, Mr Harjit Singh, called the police.
A huge air and ground search was mounted and police called for help from the public to find the youngster.
The search was stepped up about 4pm (local time) when 50 volunteers joined 15 police units and the police airwing in the huge hunt. “Maybe someone picked him up – whatever. I don’t know,” Ms Kaur had said before the body was found.