Man raped and killed friends daughter, 5, before dumping body in river

Police have arrested a 35-year-old man for allegedly raping and killing his friend’s five-year-old daughter.

Officers arrested the unnamed suspect in the Brazilian municipality of Lajeado on September 4, shortly after he had committed the alleged crime.

The victim’s body was found floating in the Taquari River and has been named as Agatha Rodrigues dos Santos.

According to the police, the girl's mother had known the suspect for three months and had allowed him to take her young daughter to a nearby market on the day of the crime.

She denied being in a relationship with him but said the man had been to her house five times.

This was the first time however that her daughter had gone for a walk with him alone.

The woman called the police when the man failed to bring her daughter back home.

Witnesses told the police they saw the man with the girl at the riverbank.

When he was arrested, his clothes were wet and muddy and there were signs of a struggle having taken place.

He was taken to prison in Lajeado and will answer to the charges of statutory rape and murder.

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He will answer to an additional charge of concealment of a human corpse if it is determined that the girl was already dead when she was thrown in the river.

According to reports, the suspect has a prior criminal record for illegal firearm possession, robbery and theft, and he had been arrested in January for intimidating his ex-partner.

Police chief Dinarte Marshall said: "It was a brutal crime of sexual violence followed by death in which the perpetrator, after carrying out the sexual act, threw the girl's body in the river to cover up his vile act."

The girl's mother may also be charged after she told the police she had seen the suspect using cocaine moments before leaving her home with her daughter.

She may also be charged with the crime of handing over a minor to an unfit person, which carries a penalty of one to two years in prison.

The suspect remains in preventive custody as the investigation continues.

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website,

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