Shock in Italy as mother in Sicily confesses to killing daughter, 5, after ‘fake kidnap’

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A 23-year-old Sicilian mother on Tuesday confessed to killing her five-year-old daughter and falsely claiming she had been abducted for ransom.

Martina Patti told police she had killed Elena, but did not say why she had done so, sources said but indications are jealousy could have spurned the killing.

She reportedly said she could not explain the act herself, sources said.

She was unable to provide police with a satisfactory description of what had happened, sources at the Carabinieri police forces said.

Police forensic team move the body of a five-year-old girl after it was found in a field near her mother’s house in Mascalucia, Catania, Sicily, southern Italy. EPA-EFE/ORIETTA SCARDINO

They further said that she had been unable to come up with any plausible motive for what she had done, the police sources said.

Prosecutors said they are gearing to charge her for multi-aggravated murder and disposing of a body, judicial sources said.

Police said Patti killed Elena in the family home at Mascalucia, and then took her body to a nearby abandoned patch of ground where she buried the body with earth and lavic ash, sources said.

The alleged murder took place when she was alone in the house with her daughter, after having picked her up from school.

The alleged ‘kidnapping by masked’ men was a false report to cover the murder, police said.

The incident took place near Catania.

The dead body of Elena, a five-year-old girl reported as being kidnapped on Monday in the Sicilian town of Tremestieri Etneo, was found on Tuesday.

The sources said the child’s mother, who had reported the alleged kidnapping, led investigators to the body.

The mother had told Carabinieri police that three hooded men, one of whom was was armed with a gun, opened the door of her car and grabbed Elisa after she had picked her up from nursery school.

Sources had said investigators did not believe organized crime was behind the alleged kidnapping and they did not think the child would have been abducted to obtain a ransom either.

Elena’s family are not considered wealthy enough to be the targets of attempted extortion of this kind, they said, according to sources.

The case has been top of Italian media pages since Monday night.

Media experts have been called in to try and explain the mother’s motives.

So far they have had little to go on.

Elena’s paternal grandfather told reporters near Catania “those who did this must have to pay for what they did, they mustn’t get away with it”.


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