The victim Vivaan Kandu

A toddler from Malad, aged a year and eight months, who had been missing since Monday afternoon, was found murdered, his body recovered from inside a large plastic bag in Kachpada No. 1, Malad (West), late on Monday night.

Identified as Vivaan Kandu, the Malad police had launched a search operation for him after the parents had lodged a missing complaint. With the help of a sniffer dog squad, officers traced the body to a spot near the residence of some of the boy's relatives.

Also Read: Navi Mumbai cops rescue toddler in 8 hours flat; nab kidnapper

The police have registered a case of kidnapping and murder against unknown persons and detained the relatives for questioning. Sources said the relatives had some property issue with the boy's father, Sandeep (32).

Sandeep, who lives with his wife and children at Kachpada No. 1, runs a grocery shop in the area. On Monday between 3 pm and 4 pm, his wife realised that Vivaan was missing. She searched around but didn't find him. She then told Sandeep, who alerted the neighbours. When local corporator Jaya Tiwana saw a group of residents on a search, she inquired. On coming to know about the missing child, she informed the Malad police.

Also Read: Mumbai Crime: Bandra kidnapper returns to pick up another child, arrested

After officers found Vivaan's body stashed in the bag, he was rushed to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial Hospital in Kandivli, but was declared dead by the doctors.

The body has been sent for a post-mortem; the preliminary cause of death is yet to be ascertained. Police have detained the uncle of the boy as the body was found near his place.