A Indian man in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, has allegedly emerged as the prime suspect in the murder of his software engineer wife, after CCTV footage showed him handling a big suitcase in which police found her charred remains.
Days after police found the body of 27-year-old M Bhuvaneswari in a suitcase, her husband Sreekanth Reddy, who told her relatives that she had succumbed to Covid-19, is now believed to be the main accused. The woman had been reported missing by her family earlier.
Mr Reddy had told the family that his wife died of the coronavirus and that the hospital had cremated her. The family had been visiting several hospitals and morgues since.
The woman was working as a software engineer in the tech company Cognizant in Hyderabad and her husband, an engineer by profession, had been unemployed for some months, NDTV reported.
Bhuvaneshwari was working from home due to the pandemic, police said. The couple lived in Tirupati with their 18-month-old daughter.
They got married about two and a half years ago, India Today reported. Mr Reddy is said to be battling depression after losing his job in the pandemic. The couple frequently fought, India Today said.
Tirupati Urban police chief Ramesh Reddy told the media that the CCTV footage from the building showed Sreekanth Reddy wheeling a big red suitcase into their apartment complex and then wheeling it out a while later.
The police chief said: “The body was 90 per cent burnt. Sreekanth bought a big suitcase at Reliance Mart and that is suspected to have been used for the purpose of packing the body. He later tried to burn the body.” Reliance Mart is an Indian retail shopping mart.
The footage showed the man pulling a big red suitcase into their home, and at the same time holding his daughter with the other hand.
Later, in the footage, he is seen lugging the bag and struggling to hold the baby. The bag looked heavier, NDTV reported.
Reports said that one cab driver also allegedly helped the main accused in dumping the corpse.
The police have sent samples to the forensic department for further examination. Police told the media that every part of the body was burnt “except some bones and the skull.”
After dumping the corpse in a hospital compound, Mr Reddy allegedly set it on fire after pouring petrol on it. Police found the charred remains in the suitcase in the compound of a government hospital five days ago.
There was an outpouring of anger online after the body was identified by the police. One user commented that this incident was “really horrible.”
The 30-year-old husband, meanwhile, was arrested on Tuesday, Times of India reported and is charged with murder and destruction of evidence.
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