Police said on Tuesday that the case of a young child who was killed in a stabbing attack on Monday is now a murder investigation. In a statement issued mid-morning, officials also indicated that steps are being taken to begin a remand hearing for the suspect in the case, the child's father, a French national.
Investigators said questioning of the suspect would begin at noon and that investigations would continue with forensics at the crime scene as well as questioning of witnesses.
The father, who is the only suspect in the case, was held by police moments after the offence occurred on Monday morning at a playground in Porvoo, southern Finland.
Mother sought restraining order
On Monday afternoon, police said in a statement that the man is a French national and around 40 years old. Police also issued an appeal for anyone with information about the case to step forward.
Meanwhile, background information about the family has emerged in Finnish media. Commercial broadcaster MTV reporting that the three-year-old was at the centre of a custody battle, and that in August the mother of the child had sought a restraining order against the child’s father. However the matter is still before the court.
MTV unearthed the details from an Itä-Uusimaa district court ruling on the ongoing custody dispute between the parents.
Secret trip to the Caribbean
In June, the child’s father had acquired a passport for the child without informing the mother, and had taken her to his home country in the Caribbean. The mother then travelled to the region in July to bring the toddler home.
MTV also revealed that the couple’s marriage ended in March and that the man has no fixed address in Finland.
The man reportedly took the child from home early Monday morning before committing the offence in a nearby park. Police alerted to the scene intervened and the child was rushed to hospital, but died from the injuries sustained. The man was immediately taken into police custody.