A mother has been arrested in Belgium amid fears she cooked her two-year-old daughter alive as part of a suicide bid.

The 27-year-old, who is reported to be of African descent and has not been named, was arrested in the town of Zemst, north of Brussels, on Sunday evening.

Neighbours had called authorities after hearing a girl screaming, then seeing smoke coming from under the garage door.

When police arrived they found the woman cooking the body of her daughter on a charcoal grill, with the remains almost fully burned, the MailOnline reported.

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Officers are now investigating whether she cooked the child alive or if she killed the girl then tried to burn her remains, HLN reports.

When police arrived on the scene she allegedly told them: "We both had to burn. That was the only way we could go to heaven together."

The paper spoke to neighbours who said the woman had been depressed for some time after going through a divorce.

She had been living with her mother at the time, but the older woman was reported to have left the house on the evening in question.

Due to the mother's physical and mental state, she was not immediately interviewed by investigators.

An autopsy on the young girl has already been performed, although the prosecutor's office of Halle-Vilvoorde have not yet made the results public.

According to psychiatrist Hans Hellebuyck, it is "hard to estimate" what exactly goes through peoples' minds in cases like this.

He said that if the mother did indeed say that she started the fire because only the soul of cremated bodies enter heaven, could be a sign of psychiatric problems.

Hellebuyck said: "If the woman made such remarks and truly meant them, it is possible that she is mentally ill. I am not saying it is like that, but it is something which has to be taken into account."