Russian police on Monday arrested a nanny for beheading a young girl in her care, investigators said, with local media reporting she was arrested while carrying the child's severed head.
The Investigative Committee said the body of a child aged three or four years with "signs of violent death" had been found earlier Monday in an apartment in northwest Moscow after a fire was extinguished there.
"According to preliminary information, the child's nanny -- a native of one of the Central Asian countries, born in 1977 -- waited until the parents left the apartment with their elder child and, guided by unknown motives, killed the little one, set the apartment on fire and left the scene," the Investigative Committee said in a statement.
State news agency TASS, citing a source, said: "The child's body was without the head. According to a preliminary version, the nanny carried away the head."
Investigators said the woman was detained and a criminal probe opened. They said the suspect would undergo a psychiatric examination to establish whether she "understands the meaning of her actions and behaviour."
The Investigative Committee did not provide further comments.
Interfax news agency, citing a law enforcement source, identified the woman as 38-year-old Gyulchekhra Bobokulova, a native of ex-Soviet majority-Muslim Uzbekistan.
Interfax said she was detained near a metro station in northwest Moscow with the child's head.
LifeNews, a news service known for its close ties to law enforcement agencies, said that when police approached her for a document check she responded by taking the head out of her bag and started yelling that she had killed a child.
Russia's interior ministry declined to comment.