A suspect whose DNA matches with samples taken from the body of six-year-old Zainab Amin, who was raped and murdered in Kasur earlier this month, has been arrested, DawnNews reported on Tuesday citing police sources.

On January 4, Zainab went missing after leaving her house on Kasur’s Road Kot area for her maternal aunt’s house a few minutes away for religious lessons.

A few days later, the victim’s body was recovered from a trash heap. An autopsy confirmed that she was strangled to death. It suggested that she had been raped before being killed.

The suspect arrested today is a resident of the same area where Zainab’s house is located, and lives very close to the victim’s aunt’s house, the sources said.

The suspect’s appearance matches the appearance of an individual seen with Zainab in CCTV footage recovered by police, according to police sources.

He was arrested as part of the investigation earlier but was let go, the sources said, adding that he was arrested again after more evidence was collected.

His name has been sent to Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, the sources said.

Malik Ahmed Khan, a spokesperson for the Punjab government, told DawnNews that the suspect was arrested from Pakpattan.

“We have found some initial evidence [against the suspect] and there is well-found reason to believe that he is the culprit [behind Zainab’s rape and murder,” the spokesperson said.

He added that a detailed forensic report will be available at 7pm and only then will he be able to confirm the reports. He said all details will be shared with the media at that time.

He added that suspects who had been arrested earlier had been released when the DNA reports cleared them.

The spokesperson said that, according to the police, the suspect used to disguise himself. “Sometimes he would keep a beard, sometimes he would wear spectacles and he would change his clothes,” Khan said.

He added that some of the suspect’s accomplices are also in police custody.

Earlier, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, while speaking to DawnNews, neither confirmed nor denied the reports. He said the Punjab government would brief the media on the matter itself.

Zainab’s rape and murder had sparked outrage in Kasur and across the country. The day her body was found, protesters had taken to the streets in Kasur, agitating against perceived police inaction.

The police had gone into overdrive, scrambling for leads to solve the heinous crime. Earlier, the investigation team formed to probe the crime had arrested a 23-year-old suspect. However, he was released after a DNA report cleared him.