A 5-year-old boy was beheaded Wednesday in an alleged human sacrifice in southern India’s Andhra Pradesh state, according to local reports. The murder was supposedly part of a witchcraft ritual.

The killing happened in Pokuru village of Prakasam district in eastern Andhra Pradesh. Tirumala Rao, the suspect, who is said to be in his 30s, allegedly took the boy home from a child care center, Press Trust of India news agency reported. Rao reportedly performed religious rituals before beheading the child. He then collected the boy’s blood in a vessel and sprinkled it across his house, M. Lakshman, a police official, told PTI.

Locals reportedly became aware of the incident after the boy’s mother failed to find her son at the child care center and was told that Rao had taken him. The woman, along with a few locals, went to the suspect’s house and broke open the lock and discovered the boy’s body, according to PTI.

The locals then searched for Rao and, after finding him, tied him to a pole, beat him up, and set him ablaze, police said. Officials rushed Rao to a local hospital for treatment. It was not immediately clear how Rao’s condition was.

Police launched an investigation into the matter and were getting further information about the incident.