Rabat – Moroccan authorities arrested on Tuesday a man in Aguelmous, a town in the Khenifra province of the Beni Mellal-Khenifra region. The man is suspected of killing a 5-year-old girl named Naima in Zagora, southwestern Morocco.
A source close to the investigation told Moroccan television channel 2M that authorities are now investigating the man for kidnapping and killing Naima.
Naima’s parents and neighbors had been looking for her for more than 42 days since August 17, when she disappeared from her home.
On September 26, a shepherd found the little girl’s remains in a place far where she lives in a mountainous area, alerting security services.
The father of Naima, who suffers from a mental and physical disability, identified his daughter from her clothes.
2M vowed that it will unveil additional details about the developments in the case over the next few hours.
“It is a shock. Where are still in shock,” the father of Naima told the press after the shepherd found her remains.
He also called on authorities to bring justice to him and his daughter if the death cause was not natural.
The case comes in heated circumstances after the increase of rape cases and abuse against minors in Morocco.
The case of Adnane Bouchouf, an 11-year-old boy who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered in Tangier ignited anger and outrage among citizens.
Days after the arrest of Adnane’s murderer, police arrested a Quran teacher in the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region for sexually assaulting several girls under the age of 18.
The girls were the defendant’s students.
Police opened an investigation under Articles 485, 487, and 488 of Morocco’s penal code.
Article 485 of Morocco’s penal code stipulates that “if a [violent] crime was committed against a child or someone under the age of eighteen, an incapacitated person, a handicapped person, or a person known for his weak mental capacities, the culprit is punished with imprisonment for 10 to 20 years.”
A court in Tangier on Tuesday also sentenced a couple to death for murdering and mutilating a child in Larache.
The father of the 7-year-old boy was involved in the murder, helping the stepmother dispose of parts of the body.
Police found some parts of the body in a fridge and arrested the stepmother and the father on intentional murder charges in November 2019.