The horrific rape and murder of 8-year-old Zainab Ansari has sparked angry riots across Pakistan.
According to the Washington Post, the young girl went missing on her way to a religious studies class last week. On Tuesday, her body was found in a dumpster, she had been raped and strangled.
CCTV footage that allegedly shows the child victim walking "hand-in-hand with a stranger," has gone viral online.
Ansari's relatives said that before she was abducted, Zainab "had been staying with her aunt while her parents traveled to Saudi Arabia to perform the Umrah pilgrimage."
Her grieving parents arrived back in Pakistan just hours after her body was found. Speaking to local news outlets, the victim's father accused local police of treating the case with negligence.
"If the police had acted immediately, the culprit would have been caught," he said.
Police say they are now dealing with the case
In their statement on the matter, police explained they are now investigating the murder.
Officials also added that "DNA was recovered from Zainab's body and that early evidence suggests the perpetrator was a family acquaintance," Washington Post reports.
As horrific as Ansari's case is, it isn't an isolated one.
In fact, "the sexual abuse of children has been a recurring issue in Kasur and at least twelve children have been sexually assaulted and killed in the past two years."
Police sources say "at least five of the killings can be linked to one person, who is the focus of a manhunt involving hundreds of law enforcement officials."
Many believe that because social norms often deter the families of surviving abuse victims from speaking out, the number of child abuse cases is in fact higher than often reported.
The case went viral on social media
Even though Ansari's case is the latest in a series of horrifying sexual abuse crimes targeting children in the country, her case gained nationwide attention after CCTV footage of her final hours went viral.
Her murder has led to violent riots demanding that authorities tackle the alarming rate of child abuse crimes reported in recent years.
As news of the crime continues to make the rounds online, thousands are expressing their outrage and calling for vigilant action.