A man suspected in the rape and killing of a 7-year-old girl has been arrested and has confessed to hers and at least seven other child killings, Punjab province’s top official said Tuesday.
Police launched a manhunt for the person responsible for the murder of Zainab Ansari in Kasur, eastern Punjab after the death sparked widespread protests.
At a news conference in the capital, Lahore, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif identified the suspect as Mohammed Imran, 24, who was arrested near Kasur.
Mr Imran will face the death penalty if found guilty.
After the 7-year-old’s body was found earlier this month, police revealed at least 10 similar cases had been recorded in the city over the past 12 months.
The breakthrough came in what officials are now calling a serial murder case and which has stirred outrage across the country.
Zainab was sexually assaulted and her body thrown in a rubbish dump, where it was eventually discovered earlier this month.
All of the other young female victims lived within a 3km radius, went missing from near their homes and were dumped on rubbish sites or in abandoned houses nearby.
Mr Imran did not immediately have legal representation, officials said.
Mr Sharif said the provincial forensics lab processed 1,150 samples of DNA before arresting Imran.
“The beast has confessed to have committed the past such crimes,” he said. “His DNA was matched 100 per cent with samples collected from crime scenes.”