Cops are investigating the role played by a man who is seen walking ahead of the woman, carrying her bag at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus
The Mumbai Crime Branch and the Kurla GRP claimed on Friday that they have positive leads in the murder case of software engineer Esther Anuhya, and are hopeful of cracking the case in another two days.
In a CCTV grab taken from LTT, Esther is seen walking as she talks on the phone, while a man (circled) walks ahead of her, holding her bag
The teams from the Crime Branch and the GRP have been making the rounds with photos of a man that they suspect. CCTV footage obtained from the waiting rooms of Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) gave them the lead. The police say that someone known to Esther may have been on the same train with her, and subsequently met up with her.
The suspected modus operandi bears echoes of the Preeti Rathi case, where a man known to the woman had followed her all the way to Mumbai and flung acid at her when she alighted from a train at Bandra Terminus. “While studying the CCTV footage, we saw a girl at the LTT waiting room. We subsequently confirmed that it was Esther. She checked the old waiting room for a few minutes, and left,” said an officer involved in the investigation, on condition of anonymity.
Esther then went to the new waiting room. “After a while, Esther is seen walking as she talks on the phone, while a man walks ahead of her, holding her bag. We are now trying to identify the man and have tried to determine the number to which she was speaking.
Neither of her phones have shown calls at that time,” said a Crime Branch officer. The police have also learnt that Esther was not on her seat for about an hour in the train journey, and suspect that she was with a friend at the time. The cops suspect that the friend was travelling with her, but in a different compartment of the train.
Police teams have been showing the photo of the suspect to locals in Hyderabad. They suspect that the man is a native of Hyderabad, based on his appearance. They have also displayed the photo to Esther’s colleagues in her Goregoan office. Her family members back home say they have no idea who the man is. Esther’s uncle Arun Kumar said that it was unlikely that a friend of Esther’s killed her.
“It looks to be the work of an auto driver or taxi driver to us. The police are just playing with the case to show that they are working,” said Kumar, speaking to MiD DAY. Esther, a native of Hyderabad, reached LTT on January 5 and subsequently went missing. Her severely decomposed body was found in Bhandup on the Eastern Express Highway on Jan 16.