The mother of the girl whose burnt body was found in a rubbish skip over the weekend is a registered nurse in Namibia, police have said.

Police deputy commissioner Nelius Becker said they suspected that the girl might have been a victim of abuse.  He said they found one person in the house, suspected to be the biological mother of the deceased, who was the first to be arrested. He said the suspected mother is said to have a temporary permanent residence permit in Namibia and is employed as a registered nurse in Windhoek.

He said investigations are at an early stage and that the postmortem has not yet been done to establish the cause of death.

“We will also be looking at whether the deceased was dead or alive at the time when the burning occurred.

“We could not do the postmortem today [yesterday] because we first want to X-ray the remains. By tomorrow [today] we should be doing the autopsy, which will hopefully provide more information as to the cause of death,” he added. Becker said it appears the skip was the primary scene for the burning of the body, although this is not certain.

Evidence gathered also reveals that the deceased might have been assaulted.

“Information that has been gathered from neighbours is that the children, more specifically the deceased, might have been assaulted on several occasions,” he said. He said the neighbours did not report it to the police but to social services last year and that social services reported it last year.