A woman has been arrested outside a metro station in Moscow after reportedly being seen holding a young child’s severed head on Monday morning, according to officials and videos posted on Russian newswire websites.
Police officers tackled the woman after she was seen shouting outside the entrance to the Russian capital’s Oktyabrskoy Pole station.
The woman’s arrest has been linked to a house fire in an apartment in the north-west of the city where a child’s headless body was found, according to multiple reports in Russian media, citing a statement released by authorities.
The Moscow Investigative Committee said: “After the fire was extinguished, the body of a child aged between 3 and 4 was found with signs of violent death.”
“According to preliminary investigations, the child’s nanny — a citizen of one of the Central Asian states, born in 1977, waited until the parents left the apartment with an older child and, for unknown reasons, committed the murder of a minor, set fire to the apartment, and left the scene.”
A criminal investigation has been opened, and the suspect is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, the statement added.
CCTV footage published on Sputnik News — the English-language arm of state-run Rossiya Segonda agency — appeared to show police officers tackling a woman wearing a hijab outside the station, as an object — presumed to be the head — dropped to the ground.
Sputnik also posted another, graphic video, purportedly filmed at street level by an eyewitness on their smartphone, which showed a woman shouting outside the station while holding what appeared to be the head.
The video showed her threatening to blow herself up, and shouting extremist slogans, Sputnik reported.