The Hyderabad Police on Thursday arrested a couple for allegedly beheading a three-month-old girl during a human-sacrifice ritual on January 31, the day a rare lunar spectacle called the “super blue blood moon” was seen, The Indian Express reported.

Taxi driver Kerukonda Rajasekhar reportedly abducted the girl when she was sleeping beside her parents on the footpath in the Bhoiguda locality of Secunderabad. He then took her to the banks of the Musi river and decapitated her. He threw the torso and the knife into the river and took the head back to his house in Chilkanagar locality, The News Minute reported.

“Following this, Rajashekar and Srilatha [his wife] performed a puja at their Chilkanagar residence, by placing the head on an altar,” an unidentified police officer told the news website.

Srilatha reportedly has not been keeping well for the past four years and the couple, who attended a major Hindu tribal festival in Telangana, were told by a tantrik that Srilatha’s ill-health was due to “evil spirits” and that sacrificing a human girl child would cure her.

The murder came to light the next morning when Rajasekhar’s mother-in-law, who lived in another part of the house, went to the terrace and saw the head. She alerted her neighbours.