A 2-year-old boy with more than 40 sewing needles stuck in him is being airlifted to another hospital in northeastern Brazil because two of the needles are close to his heart, an official said Thursday.
Police officials, meanwhile, told Brazilian media that the boy's former stepfather is in custody and that he confessed to sticking the needles into the boy at the behest of two women, perhaps in a black magic ritual.
Surgeons at a hospital in the town of Barreiras in Bahia state decided not to try to remove any needles after discovering that two were very near the boy's heart, said an official at Hospital do Oeste. She spoke on condition of anonymity as she was not authorized to discuss the case.
She said that doctors had located 42 needles in the boy — eight fewer than they had reported finding Wednesday. The boy was in intensive care but was in stable condition before being airlifted 240-miles (390 kilometers) north, she said, The Associated Press reports.
According to Daily Mail, police in Brazil have arrested the stepfather of a two-year-old boy who allegedly had nearly 50 sewing needles pushed inside him in black magic rituals.
Roberto Carlos Magalhaes reportedly confessed to the macabre crime after going on the run when the child was admitted to hospital. Today he was being held at a police station in the state of Bahia, north east Brazil.
Detectives are hunting two women said to have helped Magalhaes stick the needles into the unnamed youngster one by one. One of the women is thought to belong to a religious sect.
The boy, who was admitted to hospital on Sunday after X-rays showed he had dozens of metallic objects inside his body, is still seriously ill in hospital.
Dr Soltoski said he believed the needles were stuck into the toddler's body one by one because it would have been impossible for him to swallow them.
"We think it could have only been by penetration because we found needles in the lung, the left leg and in different parts of the thorax. It couldn't have been by ingestion," Dr Soltoski said.
Doctors found no signs of outside wounds on the boy, but X-ray images carried by Brazilian websites clearly showed some of the needles inside his body.
The boy is in intensive care, but Dr Soltoski said his condition had improved since he was admitted, Telegraph.co.uk reports.