The body of an 11-year-old local girl previously reported as missing from the city of Pyrgos, in southwest Greece, was discovered on Monday, with a 37-year-old man – reportedly an uncle twice removed – confessing to crime after his arrest, police said.

According to initial reports, the girl was discovered in a field with severe injuries to her neck. The suspect reportedly confessed to killing the girl by stabbing her in the neck with a screwdriver and telling authorities where her body was located.

The 37-year-old had been previously accused and convicted of attempting to rape a minor.

Authorities reviewed security camera footage and saw that the young girl getting into the suspect’s car before they left the village of Myrtia together. The victim went missing from the same village, in Ilia prefecture, last night.

Media reports on Monday indicate that the suspect has been convicted in 2017 attempted rape and handed down a nine-year suspended prison sentence, but remained free until an appeal under Greece’s penal code in force at the time, which essentially meant regularly showing up at a local police precinct that has jurisdiction over his declared residence.

Greek Police (EL.AS) issued an official statement confirming the details of the incident.

Critics have for years severely criticized Greece’s penal code as being too lenient, even with a most recent stiffening of sentencing and guidelines for parole and pre-trial bail enacted by the current conservative government.