Authorities arrested a Brazil woman traveling on a coach after passengers found an 11-year-old boy stuffed inside her suitcase (video below).
The child reportedly asked 23-year-old Natasha Vitoriano Souto to adopt him, the Daily Mail reports.
“I was going to take him to my house,” Souto told police. “I found him in the street in Botafogo near the traffic lights. He asked me, 'For the love of God, adopt me, please.'"
She continued, explaining the boy had confessed to being abused.
“His mother is dependent on drugs. He was adopted for a year with a family and they abandoned [him] on the street as if he was nothing,” said Souto.
Souto decided to hide the boy inside of her suitcase with a small blanket, believing that it would be the best way of transporting him to her home in South Brazil.
She drew suspicion, however, when passengers claim they saw “a small hand poking out” of the suitcase.
Police were eventually sent to investigate.
“[We] were alerted by someone who saw a woman with a suitcase at the food court which had a left hand poking out of it,” said Col. Mauro Fliess, commander of Rio’s Bus Terminal’s Tourist Areas, The Sun reports. “From there, we mobilized and spread out to find this person with characteristics similar to those reported by the witness.”
They eventually cornered the nervous woman inside a bathroom.
"We noticed that [Souto] was nervous and couldn’t give any clear answers,” said Fliess. “She finally confessed she was carrying a boy in the suitcase. The most experienced police officer in the group opened the case just a crack, and saw that she actually had a child inside.”
Video footage reveals the boy climbing out of the suitcase; he then silently went and sat on a bench.
Souto was arrested and the child was taken in by the Guardianship Council.
She does not yet face charges but police say there is a likelihood she could face anywhere from two to six years in jail.