The Kerala Police on Saturday recovered the body of a five-year-old girl in the Ernakulam district, about 21 hours after she went missing, reported PTI.

The girl, who hailed from Bihar, had gone missing from her home in the Aluva town’s Thaikkattukara area around 3 pm on Friday. Her body was found around noon on Saturday in a marshy area behind a local market at Aluva.

The police have arrested a labourer from Bihar named Asfak Alam, and said he has confessed to the crime, reported The Indian Express.

Ernakulam Rural Superintendent of Police Vivek Kumar said that a first information report was filed at 8 pm on Friday about the girl having gone missing. “Our team checked the CCTV camera footage and found that the child was with the labourer,” he said. “We apprehended him at 9.30 pm itself. However, he was in an inebriated state and the child was not with him.”

The official said that on Saturday morning, Alam confessed to the girl’s murder.

Local residents had told the police on Saturday that they had seen the child with the accused person a day earlier. Based on this information, the police searched the area and found the girl’s body near the market area.

Kumar said a medical examination indicated that the girl had been raped and strangulated to death, according to PTI.

The police said that Alam lived on the same premises as the girl’s family.

Kochi Range Deputy Inspector General Srinivas A said that a Special Investigation Team will look into the case, The News Minute reported.

“The investigation in the case is in the primary stage,” he said. “We need to determine the motive behind the case and ascertain whether he had any accomplices.”

Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan accused the police of serious lapses, and said that the state was not safe even for children. “The police were not cautious enough even after knowing that a child was abducted,” he said.

However, state police chief Shaik Darvesh Saheb said that there were no lapses on the part of the investigators.