Police and paramedics battled in vain to save fatally injured Mario Lazarica as he lay dying.
Neighbours told how the boy’s mother Cristina yelled: “My child! My child! Call the police!” as she ran to a nearby shop to get help.
Police were called to a terraced house in Earlsdon, Coventry, shortly before 6pm on Tuesday.
One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “We heard lots of screaming and shouting and the mum had run into the Co-op saying her child had been taken.
“She was saying, ‘My child, my child’ and repeatedly saying, ‘Call the police.’
“She was in a lot of distress, as you can imagine. It was nightmarish.”
Police placed a cordon around the scene on Tuesday night while house-to-house inquiries were carried out.
The neighbour said yesterday: “The police cordon is even bigger. They have been knocking on doors and it has just been completely crazy.”
Cristina and Mario’s dad Dorin are believed to have been at work when their son was attacked.
West Midlands Police said the suspect was known to the boy’s family.
A relative said: “Mario was a very happy boy. The happiest boy I’ve ever seen in my life.
“He was no trouble, never. He was such a good boy. He loved going to school, he loved learning and talking about it.
“He was a brilliant child. His parents are devastated.” Speaking near the scene of the horror, Superintendent Ronan Tyrer said: “When we arrived we found a young boy, who was just short of his sixth birthday, with multiple injuries.
“Despite the extensive efforts of police officers and paramedics, unfortunately nothing could be done to infor port old fami save him. His wider family have been informed, his parents are being supported. We have arrested a 49-yearold woman, she is known to the family.” The suspect remained in custody last night.
West Midlands Ambulance Service said it sent two ambulances, two paramedics and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance Critical Care Car to the scene.
A spokesman said: “On arrival, crews discovered a boy in a serious condition. He was already receiving medical attention from police colleagues. Ambulance staff immediately began administering advanced life support but sadly – despite everyone’s best efforts – it became apparent nothing could be done to save the boy and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”
Zarah Sultana, Labour MP for Coventry South, said: “I’m horrified by this news and utterly heartbroken for the child’s loved ones. My prayers go to the boy, his family and everyone affected in Earlsdon.”