Mother Ended Daughter's Life Over Bond With Dad's New Girlfriend: Police

An Italian mother who claimed her 4-year-old daughter had been snatched by masked men has confessed she stabbed the girl to death and buried her in a field, according to police.

Investigators believe she may have been jealous that her daughter had bonded with her ex's new partner.

Martina Patti, 24, first told police her daughter Elena Del Pozzo had been attacked by three masked men. The armed gang, she claimed, had snatched the girl as she left school on Monday.

Last time Elena Del Pozzo was seen
Elena Del Pozzo was seen being picked up from school in Mascalucia, Italy, on June 13, 2022. Carabinieri Catania/Zenger

Patti's former mother-in-law, Rosaria Testa, said Patti had told her the kidnapping was the work of Elena's father, Alessandro Nicodemo Del Pozzo, 24, but police doubted this version of events, not least because closed-circuit TV cameras had failed to record any suspicious presence.

The following morning, as her home in the township of Mascalucia, in the Sicilian city of Catania, was being searched by police, she confessed and admitted to hacking her daughter to death with a kitchen knife, police said.

Elena Del Pozzo
Elena Del Pozzo, 4, was killed by her mother who was jealous of the girl's bond with her dad's new girlfriend, police say. Zenger

She took officers to the nearby field where she had wrapped the girl in trash bags and partially buried her in a shallow grave she dug herself.

Officers noticed that the girl had been stabbed several times in the neck, upper back, and behind the ear. They sent her body for an autopsy.

Investigators said the woman was unable to confess a motive and claimed: "I wasn't myself."

They arrested her for aggravated murder and concealment of a corpse.

Police are now trying to establish what prompted the mother to kill her own daughter.

They have noted that she and her ex-partner's relationship was marked by violence and jealousy.

They also believe she may have been jealous of her ex's new partner and of the possible bond between her ex's new partner and her daughter.

Catania police chief Piercarmine Sica said: "One of the possible reasons that led Martina Patti to carry out the act may be jealousy, not only of her ex-partner's new partner but also of her daughter's possible affection towards the woman."

Del Pozzo, Patti's ex and the girl's father, was arrested for robbery in 2020 but later acquitted. He has some prior convictions for drug dealing.

He was seen bursting into tears when he arrived at the crime scene with his new partner.

A Catholic mass will be held at the San Vito church in Mascalucia on Wednesday in memory of the little girl.

Meanwhile, the investigation into her death continues.

Search for Elena Del Pozzo body
Police say Martina Patti took officers to a nearby field where they found her daughter, Elena Del Pozzo, buried in a shallow grave. Zenger

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.