Turkish Soccer Player Allegedly Suffocated Son, 5, Who'd Been Hospitalized with Suspected COVID-19


Authorities arrested a Turkish soccer player after he allegedly confessed to killing his 5-year-old son, multiple outlets report.

Earlier this month on May 4, Cevher Toktas, 32, turned himself over to police and reportedly admitted to smothering son Kasim, who was hospitalized with coronavirus (COVID-19)–related symptoms even though he later tested negative, reports the Associated Press, citing Turkish authorities.

The state-run Anadolu Agency in Turkey was first to report the news.

Kasim's death was initially not believed to have been suspicious, AP reported. He was admitted to a children's hospital on April 23 with a fever and cough, but tested negative for COVID-19.

According to Spanish news outlet AS.com, Toktas allegedly confessed to police that he suffocated his child with a pillow, then called nurses for help, claiming Kasim was having difficulty breathing. The boy was pronounced dead two hours later.

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"My son struggled for a while, and when he stopped, I removed the pillow. I then called the doctors so as they would not be suspicious," Toktas allegedly said.

He also allegedly said that he had "never loved" his son: "I never loved him, even when he was born, and I can't state why; I have no mental issues."

According to the AP, Kasim's body has been exhumed for an autopsy amid the ongoing investigation.

A trial date has not yet been scheduled for Toktas, who played for the amateur soccer club Bursa Yıldırımspor, reports CBS Sports.

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