Dubai: A housemaid was arrested for murdering her sponsors’ baby by suffocating her with a wet rag as she slept, a top police official said.

The official said the baby’s Indian parents in their 30s, who live in the Al Qusais area, returned from work on Sunday to find their only child dead.

“They thought that it was a natural death but relatives insisted they take their dead baby to the hospital,” the official added.

The girl’s body was transferred to Dubai Police’s forensic medicine department. An autopsy found the cause of death to be suffocation.

The police official said the housemaid, who is in her 20s, is suspected of using a wet rag to suffocate the girl while she slept.

The official said CID launched an investigation and questioned the housemaid who said that she had been upset because her sponsors had prevented her from going on vacation to her home country.

The housemaid told police her sponsor refused to let her go because the child’s mother had started her new job five months earlier and he was unable to take leave from work.

“We suspected that the housemaid murdered the child,” police said.

Police said the housemaid initially denied having anything to do with the death of the child. Later on she confessed to the crime and said she thought the baby’s death would enable her to take leave.

The housemaid is being detained at Al Qusais Police Station and the case has been transferred to the public prosecution.