A man has been arrested in Ukraine on suspicion of roasting his five-year-old daughter in a kitchen oven after she died when he violently shoved her.
The regional police commander in, Artem Lisogor, said: “The father pushed or hit the girl.
“The child fell down and crashed her head against the threshold.
“The girl passed out and did not recover.
“The father decided to hide the crime, so the child was put inside the stove and burned.”
The father was named as Pavel Makarchuk, 50, and the incident remained hidden for nine months in a village in Zhytomyr region.
His 41-year-old wife has been detained as an accomplice to the murder.
It was alleged that when detectives came to their home, they dressed their three-year-old son in girl’s clothes to make it seem that Darina was still alive.
When a handcuffed Makarchuk was brought back to the scene of the alleged murder for a crime re-enactment, he was branded a “beast” by a crowd of villagers.
A woman shouted: “You are an animal Pasha (Pavel), a b*****d.
“You should be chopped to pieces and be burned.”
The child’s death came three months after officials had sent Darina back to her biological parents after she was looked after by a foster mother for at least two years.
The parents, who have three other children, “confessed” to the attempt to cover-up Darina’s death and admitted she had been thrown into the stove.
The unnamed mother told police that after shoving the child, her husband had tried to give the girl “artificial respiration” but she did not respond.
He then lit a fire in the stove and “carried her charred remains to the river”.
Her remains – including burned bones – have not been located after being thrown in a river, say police.
“We are doing our best to verify the information and establish all the circumstances,” said police source Alexander Radchenko.
There is a separate row over the case because the police complained that local social activities had successfully campaigned for the girl to be returned to her natural family from a “loving” foster home.
The foster mother Natalya Kobernik had sought to overturn the ruling and get the child back arguing that Darina would not be properly cared for.
But she was told Makarchuk was a “reliable and normal” parent.
She accused the authorities of placing the child in a family where she was at risk of abuse.
The foster mother has appealed to locals to find the girl’s remains so she can be given a proper burial.
The couple’s other children, both boys, have been taken into care.
Makarchuk faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted of murder.