The Crime Branch has picked up a close friend of Esther Anuhya who she spoke to while leaving Lokmanya Tilak Terminus; cops suspect the friend may have booked a cab for the victim
Crime Branch officials investigating the Esther Anuhya murder case now suspect that the man seen walking in front of her in the CCTV footage, a suspected Cool Cab driver, might have killed her.
CCTV footage has revealed that the man carrying Esther’s luggage was earlier shaking a soft drink bottle around 4.38 am. The police suspect he was trying to mix alcohol inside the bottle. File Pic
The footage recovered from the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) shows the person, with whom Esther left, allegedly drinking liquor in a soft drink bottle at the station. He is also seen lingering around the station an hour prior to Esther’s arrival at the LTT.
Moreover, officials have detained one of Esther’s close friends. They are now trying to find out from him whether she was talking to him while exiting the station, as seen in the CCTV footage. “As Esther’s phone lacked details of booking a Cool Cab or a radio taxi, we suspect her friend must have done it on her behalf.
It is evident in the CCTV footage that she is talking to someone on her mobile phone. But the two mobiles we recovered do not have any details. We suspect she might have a third mobile, which can lead us to the killer. Hence we are interrogating her friend,” said an official.
In the earlier footage, Esther is seen entering the old waiting room, leaving it and finally sitting at the platform. Here, a person wearing a white shirt is seen approaching her. Later, she is seen following him around 5.10 am. While that man was carrying her luggage, she was talking on the phone. A detailed scrutiny of the CCTV footage revealed that the same man was seen vigorously shaking a soft drink bottle around 4.38 am.
The police suspect he was trying to mix alcohol inside the bottle with the soft drink. “He is seen hanging around the station for quite a while. He must either be a Cool Cab or a radio taxi driver. Or somebody who must have come to drop his owner and then offered Esther a lift in the private car,” said a Crime Branch officer.
Crime Branch officials are detaining Cool Cab and radio taxi drivers and auto drivers operating around LTT for questioning. “Now that we have a picture of the suspect, it makes things a little easier for us to trace him. We also questioned one of Esther’s friends from Hyderabad about how many phones she was using, and whether she had called for a taxi or not,” the officer said.
Esther worked with TCS as a software engineer and lived in Andheri. She had gone home to meet her family for Christmas in Machilipatnam on December 22. She landed in Mumbai on January 5 at LTT, after which she went missing. Esther’s family members found her charred remains on January 16 from the bushes near Tata Nagar Colony in Bhandup (East).