An Indian man accused of sexually assaulting and killing at least 19 children and women and stuffing the dismembered remains of the victims in a storm drain has confessed, an official said Friday.
The killings in a tony section of Noida, a New Delhi suburb, prompted widespread outrage here after relatives of the victims, nearly all of whom came from poor families working as servants in the area, said police ignored their complaints as up to 38 people went missing over two years.
The accused, Surender Koli, was a servant at a house in Noida, and he, along with the home's owner, were arrested in December after police unearthed the remains of 19 children and women from storm drains abutting the property.
Koli confessed to the killings during a closed court hearing on Thursday, said R.K. Gaur, a spokesman for India's Central Bureau of Investigation. But Gaur refused to provide any additional details, saying such were "between the state and the accused."
However, Indian media reported that Koli had confessed to sexually assaulting and then killing his victims. The Times of India newspaper said Koli told the court that he also sexually abused some of the corpses before disposing them, the AP reports.
Neither the Times of India nor other reports said how many murders Koli had confessed to committing.
The Times and other papers also reported that Koli did not mention his employer, Moninder Singh Pandher, in his confession. Pandher is also being held in connection with the killings.
The Press Trust of India reported that a court on Friday ordered Pandher held for another 14 days.