SAO PAULO, Brazil – A bricklayer has confessed to killing and raping a toddler found dead 10 days ago in the baptismal basin of a church in the southern state of Santa Catarina, authorities said Tuesday.
Oscar Goncalves Rosario confessed to killing 18-month old Gabrielli Cristina Eichholz, who was found March 3 floating face down in the baptismal basin of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the city of Joinville, a spokeswoman for the Santa Catarina public safety department said.
The spokeswoman, who declined to be named, citing department policy, would not confirm details of a report Tuesday in the A Noticia newspaper that Rosario, 22, targeted the girl after seeing her alone March 3 in the church's playground.
Relatives of the girl were attending a church service and had left the child in a room with about 20 other children being cared for by church members. It was not immediately clear how the girl managed to get to the outside playground, apparently on her own without being noticed.
Rosario did not know the child, or any of the people who were in the church at the time, the newspaper said.
Police questioned several other suspects before focusing on Rosario, who had been seen leaving Joinville after the girl was killed, the newspaper said.
He lived in a town about 110 miles from Joinville, which is about 250 miles southwest of Sao Paulo.