KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Five people have been arrested and face charges of murdering a 10-year-old boy in southwest Nepal, police said on Sunday, in an incident media reports said was a suspected case of human sacrifice.

Police official Nal Prasad Upadhyaya said the decomposed body of Jivan Kohar, who had been missing for three days, was recovered from a bush on Friday in Kudiya village inNawalparasi district, which borders India. The boy's throat had been slit.

The Kathmandu Post said the father of a sick man had confessed to the killing "to chase away the evil spirits" from his ailing son after seeking advice from a village shaman.

He lured the boy with the help of neighbors to an isolated place by offering biscuits and promising to pay him 50 U.S. cents. He then performed a religious rite, killed the boy and dumped his body in a bush, media reports said.

All five will be charged with murder, Upadhyaya said.

More than 80 percent of Nepal's 28 million people are Hindus. Many frequently sacrifice animals like goats, buffaloes and roosters to appease the gods.

(Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Paul Tait)