PAUPA NEW GUINEA - A man in a drug-induced stupor was detained by police after attempting to eat his newborn baby during a sorcery ritual.
Police commander Sergeant Demas Tapea told Australia's AAP news agency: ""Locals are saying the man was carrying out a sorcery ritual, or initiation, to become part of some sort of special society."
The residents in the town of Tabulil said they awoke when they heard the baby's screams.
They chased the man to the police station, where he was arrested.
The baby died of its injuries.
Sargeant Tapea said: "The community is upset, angry but there is also a lot of fear and anxiety because there is a belief in sorcery or witchcraft."
"The suspect has a long history of drug abuse and we are not surprised something like this has happened. A few years ago, he went crazy in what we believe was due to the effects of drugs."
The Paupa New Guinea government has attempted to educate its citizens to end their belief in sorcery, but superstitions remain among communities.
In 2009, it was estimated at least 50 people were killed in sorcery-related murders.