Sambalpur: A decomposed body of a three-year-old tribal girl, allegedly raped and murdered by a tractor driver, was found in Odisha's Sambalpur district, police said today.
The body of the girl of Budhiapalli under Thelkuli police station was found yesterday by the villagers in the dense forests at nearby Talabira three days after she went missing, inspector-in-charge Nirmal Chandra Mohapatra said.
Daughter of a cow grazing family, the victim and her four-and-a-half-year-old brother were at home when Khedu Munda (30) of the same hamlet took the girl with him after sending her brother to buy chocolates from a nearby shop.
As her parents did not find her after they returned in the evening, they lodged a missing complaint with the police based on the disclosure made by their son.
Even as police was inquiring into the incident with sniffer dogs, the villagers searched the forests and stumbled upon the body, he said.
Post-mortem was conducted at VSS Medical College Hospital at Burla and the report is awaited, he said, adding prima facie it appears to be a case of rape and murder.
After the incident, Munda was absconding and a manhunt was on to nab him, Mohapatra said, adding a case was registered against him.