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Son's date of birth solves murder mystery

Police arrested milk stall worker after they realised he lied about his son's birthday and also bought an insurance premium with the stolen booty

What's in a date? Well, if one goes by this case, then a lot depends on it. According to the Matunga police, the date of birth was the vital clue that enabled them to crack the murder of 85-year-old Tabitha Fonseca who was found dead in her home at Matunga Hindu Colony.

The cops arrested 26-year-old Jeetendra Sahu, who works at a milk stall near Fonseca's residence.

Anant Jadhav, sub-inspector, Matunga police station said, "Sahu works in a stall opposite Fonseca's home and it was easy for him to keep an eye on her. He told us that he had gone to Orissa for his son's birthday on September 19. However, Sahu kept changing his version frequently, which made us suspicious. Hence, we went to his village in Orissa to corroborate his statement. It was over there that we learned that his son's birthday was on December 23."

Realising something was amiss, the cops searched his home where they found documents of an insurance policy. He had recently paid the premium of Rs 11,000 for a Rs 1.20-lakh cover, added Kishore Patil, deputy commissioner of police (Zone IV).

Patil said, "We realised that he was lying to us and then we decided to check if he had purchased anything new in his house. We found an insurance policy in his house dated September 15, and when the cops met the LIC agent he told them that Sahu had more than Rs 40,000 with him."

After authorities detained Sahu, he revealed that he had committed the crime after hatching a plan with his accomplice Ashok Kumar Jaiswal, another milk dealer. "Sahu told us that when Fonseca came to the door to close it, they pulled her and strangulated her with a rope and later fled with valuables," added Patil.

The murder came to light on September 8, when Fonseca's daughter Ruth found her mother in a pool of blood and intimated the police. According to cops, jewellery worth Rs 65,000 had been taken and the lockers had been left untouched, which made cops unsure of a robbery motive.

The murder
On September 8, 85-year-old Tabitha Fonseca was murdered in her apartment in Matunga Hindu Colony. The unidentified accused took advantage of the fact that the deceased was living alone for a few years in the big house. Preliminary investigations indicated that the woman had been strangulated to death and it could be a case of robbery.

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