French authorities say several members of the same family were arrested on suspicion of fatally beating a 9-year-old boy earlier this year.
According to the Straits Times, the incident occurred at a home in Mulhouse, a city in eastern France, on Sept. 17.
Investigators believe the relatives beat the young child to death after he refused to complete a school homework assignment.
Local police reports indicate the alleged victim’s 19-year-old brother and 20-year-old sister were arrested in addition to the brother’s girlfriend.
The three suspects were with the child at the time of his death, according to reports.
They contacted emergency personnel at the time, but paramedics who arrived on the scene were not able to save the child’s life.
The child’s mother, who was not at the residence during the first police response, was taken into custody for questioning about the incident at a later time.
The victim’s eldest brother is accused of doling out the fatal beating, according to police.
An autopsy performed on the boy revealed he likely died as the result of a severe beating.
The examination also indicated that he suffered a heart attack during the incident.
Police say the boy was allegedly beaten with a broom handle, according to BBC.
Authorities did not reveal additional details about the manner or circumstances surrounding his death but pointed to evidence that the beating was in response to his unfinished schoolwork.
The death sparked a vigil in the city’s center on Sunday. A number of participants reportedly voiced support for the victim’s parents.
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