The National- Monday, February 7, 2011
A WEEK-old baby was allegedly eaten by his adopted father last Thursday night in what appeared to be a cult-related sacrifice, Tabubil police have said.
Tabubil police station commander Sgt Damas Tapea and provincial police commander Chief Insp Peter Philips confirmed that a man, in his 30s, from Tari, Southern Highlands, was in police custody after allegedly eating his adopted daughter.
Frightened neighbours told police that the man had walked into the family home at their Old Wangpin settlement at around 10pm and strangled his Telefomin wife and grabbed the infant by the legs and started biting her face as she slept.
Neighbours told Tabubil police that they were only made aware of the incident when the baby started crying followed by screams from the mother pleading for help.
The man was allegedly heavily intoxicated with alcohol and marijuana when he committed the act, police said.
“From reports I have, the man, Rex Paijawi, was dead drunk when he ate the baby,” Philips said.
According to the PPC, the neighbours pleaded with Paijawi to release the child but he rejected, saying: “God told me to eat the child before the child eats me.”
Philips said neighbours than hit Paijawi with hammer, planks and sticks in the hope that he would drop the baby, but he did not respond.
Philips said the child was eventually removed from Paijawi when local police wrestled him to the ground.