In an apparent twist in the homicide of Engeline Margret Megawe (not Angeline as previously reported), the 8-year-old Bali girl whose body was discovered after she went missing for nearly a month, a House of Representatives member, claimed on Saturday that the chief suspect in her murder, Augustinus "Agus" Tai Hamdani, had confessed to committing the crime in exchange for Rp 2 billion (S$2 million) from Engeline's adoptive mother, Margareith.
House Commission III member Akbar Faizal claimed that he got the information directly from Agus during the questioning with police investigators at Denpasar Police headquarters.
"I was startled upon hearing that he did [the murder] for Rp2 billion in cash promised by Ibu Margareith. The money would be paid out this June 25," said Akbar.
According to Akbar, during the questioning, Agus expressed his remorse for his wrongdoing. However, police investigators said Agus kept making different statements. "Police investigators have promised to follow up this statement [on the motive of the murder]," said Akbar.
The disappearance of Engeline last month has drawn attention from several top officials, with Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Yuddy Chrisnandi and Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Yohana Susana Yembise paying a visit to Engeline's house.
Following her disappearance, social media users had shared pictures of her as part of an effort to find her.
The remains of Engeline were found buried behind her adoptive mother's house on Jl. Sedap Malam, Denpasar, Bali, on Wednesday.
In an autopsy, the police found signs of violence, namely bruises to the face, neck, hands and legs.