A Turkish football player in the northwestern province of Bursa admitted to murdering his 5-year-old son, 11 days after officials ruled the toddler’s death was due to breathing difficulties without suspecting foul play.
According to the local reports on Friday, former Süper Lig player Cevher Toktaş admitted his son to a local hospital on April 23 after he had a cough and a high fever. The doctors at the hospital promptly quarantined the boy and the father, as the 5-year-old showed hallmark symptoms of COVID-19.
Sometime later in the same day, Toktaş summoned the doctors to the room and said the boy was having difficulty breathing. The doctors rushed the boy to the intensive care unit, but he passed away less than two hours later.
With breathing difficulties common in COVID-19 patients and not suspecting foul play, authorities ruled the boy’s death as a normal death initially. But 11 days after the incident, Toktaş went to a local police station to admit his crime.
In his statement to the police, Toktaş said he smothered his son with a pillow when they were alone in the room.
“I pressed a pillow on my son who was lying on his back. For 15 minutes, I pressed down on the pillow without lifting it up. My son was struggling during that time. After he stopped moving, I lifted the pillow. Then I yelled for doctors to help to draw any suspicions away from me,” his statement read.
Asked about his motive, Toktaş said he killed his son because he simply “didn’t love him.”
“I never loved my younger son after he was born. I don’t know why I don’t love him. The sole reason why I killed him that day is because I didn’t like him. I don’t have any mental issues,” he said.
After his confession, Toktaş was arrested and will be put on trial for “murdering a close relative,” punishable with up to life in prison. The authorities also ruled for the boy’s body to be exhumed for autopsy.