A chilling crime is grabbing international headlines this week after a local paper in Papua New Guinea reported a father allegedly bit his daughter to death and sucked her blood.
The Post-Courier’s Franco Nebas first reported on the gruesome incident Friday.
According to the paper, Rex Eric was arrested by police after allegedly biting his 3-year-old daughter in the neck, eating her flesh and drinking her blood. The Oct. 9 incident, which reportedly occurred at a settlement in Lae, was observed by a pair of local boys who had climbed a nearby tree, the paper notes.
Local government official John Kenny told the Post-Courier that even after being caught, Eric “was just laughing at the boys and continued eating the flesh and sucking the blood.”
While the alleged events haven’t been independently verified, similar incidents have been reported across the relatively unexplored country, which is home to a population of about 6,430,000, according to the CIA.
Last July, police in Papua New Guinea arrested 29 people accused of being a part of a cannibal cult that murdered and ate seven suspected witch doctors, according to the Associated Press.
That story, too, was first reported in local papers before being confirmed to the AP. The suspects had allegedly eaten the witch doctors’ brains and made soup with their penises.
In a similarly brutal story from February, a young mother was burned alive in front of a mob of townspeople after she was accused of practicing witchcraft. According to multiple reports, Kepari Leniata, 20, was tortured and killed in the town of Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, by the relatives of a young boy believed to have been killed with magic.
The Agence France-Presse notes that there is a widespread belief in sorcery in Papua New Guinea, especially in rural and isolated areas. Although the practice was criminalized in 1971, there has been an increase in black magic-related incidents in recent years, the outlet notes.