• The 9-year-old girl was reported missing on June 18, 2021
  • The girl's 61-year-old neighbor has been arrested on suspicion of murder
  • The suspect was arrested while he was under investigation for an unrelated child sex abuse case

A 9-year-old girl in Russia who has been missing for almost three months has been found buried in a shallow grave in the basement of her neighbor's apartment.

The child, identified as Viktoria Gnedova, who has been missing since June from her apartment in Oryol, a city in western Russia, was found buried last week, The Investigating Committee of Russia said in a  news release.

The investigating agency also said they have identified the child from the clothes she wore when the girl went missing. The girl reportedly disappeared after she was left alone in her apartment on June 18, 2021. The police have arrested the girl's 61-year-old unidentified neighbor in connection with the case on suspicion of murder,  Latin Times reported.

"A local citizen has been detained on the suspicion of committing the crime. At present, the investigators are examining the scene, forensic and DNA examinations are to be appointed. The criminal investigation is ongoing. The investigators will establish the circumstances of the incident in detail," the agency added in the news release.

The suspect was arrested while he was held in custody as part of a separate child sex case that was under investigation. The man was also accused in connection with multiple unsolved child abuse sex cases in the area, Latin Times reported citing sources.

After the shocking discovery of the child's murder, Oryol Governor Andrey Klychkov said: “The horror is that this girl died… We need to make sure the person responsible gets the punishment they deserve.

“I do not tolerate people who commit such crimes. I think we should bring back the death penalty."

Crime scene police line | Representational Image Crime scene police line | Representational Image Photo: GETTY IMAGES / SCOTT OLSON

Earlier this month, a 34-year-old man from Russia was arrested for murdering a pedophile who allegedly raped his young daughter. The man, identified as Vyacheslav M, was accused of fatally stabbing his longtime friend, 32-year-old Oleg Sviridov, from Russia's Samara region. Vyacheslav M reportedly discovered footage of Sviridov raping his 8-year-old daughter from the latter's mobile phone. He then got into an argument with him before stabbing him to death. The girl's father was released from police custody after locals expressed their support for his actions.