A man in the Indian capital of Delhi has been arrested after police discovered the body of a missing boy hidden in his home on 13 February. Avadhesh Sakya was arrested in connection with the kidnapping and murder of seven-year-old Ashish Saini who went missing on 7 January.

Police revealed that Sakya was known to the child's family and had lived as a tenant in a house owned by them, up until three years ago. The 27-year-old aspiring civil servant kidnapped the boy in the hopes of getting a ransom but decided to kill him after the police search for the victim intensified.

According to Hindustan Times, the child was smothered to death before being stuffed into a suitcase and hidden in a bed box more than 37 days ago. Neighbours allegedly complained of a foul smell emanating from his home but Sakya told them it was because of the rats that he had managed to exterminate. He even managed to show them a dead rat to prove his actions.

Aslam Khan, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West division) told reporters that at least 10 bottles of deodorant and perfumes which were used to mask the smell of the decomposing body were discovered in the house.

The Times Of India reported that during his interrogation the suspect confessed to kidnapping the boy by luring him away on the pretext of buying him a bicycle.

"I asked him what his parents said about me. The child said that his parents had warned him against visiting my house as I was not a nice person. Seething with anger, I smothered him that moment," Sakya reportedly told the investigators.

"Sakya already planned the murder. The boy's revelation acted as a trigger," Khan said of the plot. "He used his woollen scarf to smother the boy. He then wrapped the body in a plastic mat and stuffed it in a blue suitcase before hiding it in his bed box."

Up until this week, the suspect had been helping the family and authorities with the search but police grew suspicious after he stopped responding to their calls.