A 6-year-old girl, who was allegedly kidnapped while she was sleeping next to her family in India, was found dead near a pond Monday.

The police in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh said there were injury marks on the child's neck and eyes. The victim's family alleged one of their neighbors abducted the girl and allegedly raped her before dumping her body in the village of Barabanki. Villagers and family members claimed the girl's eye had been gouged out, according to News18.

The police officers were notified after the corpse was found. Authorities arrived at the scene and launched an investigation. The girl's father named his neighbor, who already has a criminal history, as a suspect. The accused, who has not been named, was arrested as the police continued their probe into the horrific attack.

“He has a criminal history and the locals are afraid of him. Few days back we had a land dispute but due to his fear, we handed the land to him. Our daughter was sleeping at night, she must have gone to relieve herself when she was abducted. After that she was raped and killed,” the father alleged, adding the girl's body was found very close to their home.

"One of her eyes was gouged out and there were marks on her neck. The accused must be hanged to give justice to my daughter,” the father said, News18 reported.

The child's body has been sent for an autopsy and the cause of death will be confirmed once the report is out. Senior police officer Yamuna Prasad said it is believed the girl had been strangled to death, but he rejected claims the girl's eye had been gouged out.

“As per preliminary information there was injury mark on the left eye of the deceased girl however her eyes were not gouged out. Prime facie it appears that the girl was strangled, post mortem report is awaited. A case has been registered against the accused on the written complaint of the family members of the deceased. The accused was arrested, he was a neighbour of the victim," Prasad said.

crime scene Representative image Photo: Wikimedia Commons