A four-year-old Swedish boy who was found dead in woods near his home at the weekend was murdered, police have confirmed.
The boy’s body was discovered in Ljungby, south-central Sweden, after he went missing for five hours following an argument with one of his siblings in a playground on Sunday night.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Kronoberg County police spokesperson Robert Loeffel did not reveal any details about how the boy died.
“Our investigators have worked on the scene all night, after which the boy was transported to Lund where an autopsy was carried out. There forensic experts could conclude that the boy’s death was caused by a crime,” Loeffel told reporters. “We don’t know what caused the boy’s death or who did it, but we consider the incident to be a murder,” he added.
No one has so far been arrested on suspicion of the killing, but police did confirm that the family, in which there were six children before the boy’s death, had been investigated by social services after a complaint was made in August.
Speaking to the TT news agency, a photographer for Scanpix photo agency said, “People are terrified here and many don’t dare let their kids leave school.”
Local resident Gun-Maj Lyden added that there was a large police presence outside her house, near to where the body was discovered, on Sunday night. “We saw how they found something. It was really unpleasant. It was just a small child,” she told TT.
Police are continuing to search the area and have appealed to the public for tips and information.