Police near Jakarta, Indonesia, have arrested a couple over the death of their daughter. The mother said she killed the first-grader because the child would not listen to her instructions for online learning at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
The father allegedly helped bury the child’s body in secret.
Lia Handayani, 26, told police that she was supervising the online schoolwork of her 8-year-old twin daughters in their central Jakarta home on the morning of August 26 when the incident occurred. Handayani explained that the victim, Keysya Safiyah, would not follow her instructions.
“I did not have any intention to kill my daughter. I was angry. In the morning, before my husband woke up, the kids and I had already woken up for online learning. One followed [instructions], the other didn’t,” Handayani said while in police custody yesterday, as quoted by Indonesia’s iNews.
Handayani then struck Keysya on the head “with a broomstick at least five times before shoving her down to the floor. The daughter fell unconscious following the beating,” Coconuts Jakarta reported.
“When my daughter lost consciousness, I did not think to take her to the hospital. I was worried that the doctor might ask me about the bruises on her body,” Handayani said.
Keysya later “succumbed to her injuries,” according to the report. Authorities are currently carrying out an autopsy on Keysya’s body. They have yet to disclose details of the child’s specific injuries to the public.
Handayani’s husband, Imam Safi’ie, awoke to find that Keysya, his biological daughter, had died. Safi’ie, 27, then helped his wife prepare to bury their daughter’s body in secret.
Hiding Keysya’s body in a box, Handayani and Safi’ie traveled by motorcycle to a public cemetery approximately 124 miles southwest of Jakarta in the Cijaku district of Lebak in Banten province. The couple asked to borrow a shovel from a friend in Cijaku, telling him that they needed to bury a dead animal. They then buried their daughter in the Gunung Keneng public cemetery.
By September 12, a number of Cijaku residents had grown suspicious of the new, unmarked grave in the cemetery. They alerted the Cijaku police, who exhumed the grave on Saturday to find the body of the first-grader. The police then launched an investigation into the incident and found that the girl’s parents were alleged to be responsible for her death. They arrested the couple earlier this week and have since named both Handayani and Safi’ie as suspects in the case.
“They were charged with violating Article 80 of the 2014 Child Protection Law on child murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a Rp 200 million ($13,459) fine. The police also accused them of violating Article 388 of the Criminal Code on attempted murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment,” the Jakarta Post reported.