Navi Mumbai headless torso case: Mother-in-law plotted murder

May 17, 2017, 08:15 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

Police recover crucial evidence in the Priyanka Gurav killing; say plan hatched well in advance by the deceased's mother-in-law, who was unhappy with the alliance

Priyanka Gurav went missing on May 5
Priyanka Gurav went missing on May 5

Two days after the Rabale MIDC police found the severed head of Worli resident Priyanka Gurav (24) in the sensational murder case, it has now located the pillow used to smother her along with the car that was used to transport her remains to three different locations after the killing.

As planned, on May 5, Brajesh Patwa enters the house after Priyanka has gone to sleep at around 11 pm
As planned, on May 5, Brajesh Patwa enters the house after Priyanka has gone to sleep at around 11 pm

Forensic report awaited
Investigating police inspector P Jadhav said, "We have recovered the crucial piece of evidence — the pillow used to smother Priyanka and the Hyundai Santro in which her remains were transported by Durgesh Patwa and his aide Vishal Soni."

Also read - Navi Mumbai headless torso case: Cops recover Priyanka Gurav's head; 1 more arrested

The family, including father-in-law Manohar, mother-in-law Madhuri and husband Siddhesh, along with Brajesh, then smother Priyanka with a pillow. They also hold her hand and feet tight to prevent her from fighting off her attackers or screaming for help. No neighbours heard any disturbance from the house
The family, including father-in-law Manohar, mother-in-law Madhuri and husband Siddhesh, along with Brajesh, then smother Priyanka with a pillow. They also hold her hand and feet tight to prevent her from fighting off her attackers or screaming for help. No neighbours heard any disturbance from the house

According to inspector Jadhav, the car, seized on Tuesday from a pay-and-park at Ambivli near Kalyan, was registered in Soni's name; the fifth accused arrested on Sunday. "We are awaiting reports from the forensic team that will examine the vehicle and look for material evidence like blood stains, hair, the missing weapon, etc," explained the senior officer.

According to Manohar, the four then dragged Priyanka's body to the bathroom where they chopped it in three parts, severing her head, and later her upper and lower limbs. These three parts were then wrapped in paper and bed sheet so that they could be transported easily.
According to Manohar, the four then dragged Priyanka's body to the bathroom where they chopped it in three parts, severing her head, and later her upper and lower limbs. These three parts were then wrapped in paper and bed sheet so that they could be transported easily

Inspector Jadhav further added, "Meanwhile, a police team escorted Priyanka's father-in-law Manohar to their Worli quarters where the crime was committed and recreated the scene. We also seized the incriminating pillow from that room."

Also read - Navi Mumbai headless torso case: Woman's charred limbs found, family considered committing suicide

The three separate parts were then stuffed under the seat and boot of the Santro, registered in Soni's name
The three separate parts were then stuffed under the seat and boot of the Santro, registered in Soni's name

On Tuesday, the seized (charred bones) lower limbs and the head were also sent to JJ post-mortem centre, where the torso is already being kept. Now, within a day or two, the samples of Priyanka's siblings will be collected for DNA analysis, after which the remains will be handed over for cremation.

The plan was to dispose the dismembered body in three separate locations, so Soni and Brajesh took on the task of dumping the head and torso first, before heading to the final location with the limbs
The plan was to dispose the dismembered body in three separate locations, so Soni and Brajesh took on the task of dumping the head and torso first, before heading to the final location with the limbs

Recreated scene of crime
According to the police, Manohar told them that Priyanka was sleeping on the floor when Durgesh came to the house and they together smothered her. After confirming she was dead, they dragged her body to the washroom and dismembered her.

Also read - Navi Mumbai headless torso case: Husband, in-laws smothered, hacked woman in her sleep

The limbs were then taken to the final location where they were set on fire. The charred remains were later found. Illustration/Ravi Jadhav
The limbs were then taken to the final location where they were set on fire. The charred remains were later found. Illustration/Ravi Jadhav

"We suspect that the lower limbs were set on fire using petrol, but the exact chemical will be ascertained from forensic reports," police said. This plan was allegedly in the works for around eight to ten days prior and was committed at the behest of Priyanka's mother-in-law Madhuri, who was unhappy with the alliance from the very beginning and had roped in Durgesh for help.

Also read - Headless torso in Navi Mumbai: Deceased woman's sister identifies her after reading mid-day report

Meanwhile, Soni was produced before the CBD Metropolitan Magistrate's court on Monday and he has been remanded to police custody until May 22.

Siblings wonder why
According to Kavita, Priyanka's elder sister, following the constant tiffs between the couple, last Diwali, they had almost convinced Priyanka to not marry Siddhesh and instead stay in Ahmednagar.

Also read: Headless torso found in Navi Mumbai nullah; tattoo only clue

"We had finalised an alliance within our community and she had got another job here, but suddenly one day, Siddhesh resurfaced. His parents said that he had threatened to commit suicide if not allowed to marry Priyanka, so they decided to accept the relationship."

However, she now wonders, "If he was so madly in love with my sister, then why and how he could have thought of killing her?"

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