- Dikshit Reddy, 9, was strangled allegedly by the neighbour, Manda Sagar
- Dikshit was the son of a TV journalist, Ranjit Reddy
- Police tracked accused after he made Skype call through his phone
Dikshit Reddy, 9, was playing with his friends near his home in Telangana's Mahbubabad on Sunday evening when a neighbourhood mechanic invited him to ride his bike. That was the last anyone saw him alive.
The child's burnt body was found yesterday a few km from his home. He was strangled allegedly by the neighbor, Manda Sagar, barely two hours after he went with him on his bike.
Dikshit was the son of a TV journalist, Ranjit Reddy, based in Mahbubabad, about 220 km from Hyderabad. His killer worked nearby but lived near his grandparents' home, 5 km away, and had seen him often.
When the boy did not return home on Sunday evening, his frantic parents reported him missing.
The police said Dikshit was familiar with his kidnapper, so he went willingly with "Anna (elder brother)". The man allegedly took Dikshit to the outskirts of the town, sedated him and kept him captive.
Within an hour, Manda Sagar panicked about getting caught and allegedly strangled Dikshit.
He then went home for dinner, returned to the spot and set fire to his body with petrol to destroy any evidence.
According to the police, he had avoided routes with CCTV cameras when he was taking the child away. To avoid detection, he also used internet to make some 14 ransom calls to Dikshit's mother Vasantha, demanding Rs 45 lakh in cash.
His very first call was the same night, long after he had killed the boy.
After many calls, he asked the parents to upload on Facebook photos of the cash and jewellery they were to hand over to him. He fixed a time and place to collect the it but apparently backed out.
Dikshit's parents had put together some cash and jewellery and went to a designated location but the kidnapper did not show up.
He was finally tracked down by the police through his phone.
Since internet calls are harder to trace, the police took help from experts in Hongkong and the US to find the phone.
Yesterday, after he was caught, he showed the police where he had left Dikshit's body.