Gurukkal is understood to have killed the girl and then kept the body hidden in his home till Tuesday night. He later disposed the body in a public well. The victim is a hapless Class 1 student named R Rajeshwari who fell prey to the priests sexual perversions.
The priest has been arrested and remanded to judicial custody.
The incident came to light when the girls father M Raja filed a 'child missing' complaint with the Gudiyattam police on Sept 19. She apparently did not return home from the government middle school in Salaiyampatti where she was studying.
On Wednesday, the villagers in the area found the body of a child in an agricultural well in Gudiyattam. After alerting the police, they confirmed that the body was that of Rajeshwari. After further investigation, the police found that Gurukkal lived three buildings away from the school and also found that he was arrested five years ago for a similar crime.
After being taken into custody, Gurukkal confessed to the crime. The postmortem report of the girl confirmed rape. North Zone IG C Sylendra Babu has been quoted as saying, "The postmortem confirmed that the girl had been raped several times and that she died of suffocation."
Validating the claim, Gudiyattam inspector G Srinivasan stated, "Based on suspicion, we interrogated the priest and he confessed to the crime. Kumara Gurukkal was sitting in front of the residence when we were hunting for the child. He threw the body into the well behind his house on Tuesday night."
Gurukkal has been living alone for the past 16 years and the police said that he confessed to the crime.