Four members of the same family have been arrested after a nine-year-old boy was beaten to death at his home in the eastern French city of Mulhouse.
Police sources told local media that the boy had refused to do his homework and was hit with a broom handle.
The boy's elder brother, sister and stepsister were all present at the time of the incident.
Although his mother was not there, she too has been arrested and was aware of what was going on, reports say.
But the family's initial accounts of what had happened and the ensuing post-mortem examination prompted police to continue their investigation.
Bruises were discovered on the boy's body, particularly on his feet, according to Alsace website DNA.
Although he had suffered a cardiac arrest, pathologists said the cause of death had been the blows he had suffered, DNA reported.