In what is becoming a disturbing statistic, a 60-year-old woman has been found murdered in her flat in Kannamwar Nagar, Vikhroli. This is the sixth murder of a senior citizen in less than three months.
The victim, identified as Latika Kamble, lived in the flat with her son, daughter and nephew. However, at the time of the incident she was alone at home. Her body was discovered by her nephew Sandeep Mane, when he returned home from work.
Prima facie, the police suspect robbery to be the motive behind the crime, but are still not sure, as some valuables were found intact in the house. The assailant had washed the bloodstains before fleeing the scene of crime.
Bludgeoned: Latika Kamble was found murdered in her flat in Kannamwar Nagar, Vikhroli, yesterday
The victim's son, Manoj, works with St Mary's school in Bhayandar as a clerk. Her daughter, Manisha, works with a private computer institute in Andheri and nephew, Mane, works in the Naval Dock. Latika's husband died 12 years ago, and the family has been living in the building for the past 35 years.
"The other members of the family had all left for work in the morning. Latika spoke to a neighbour around 1 pm and then went for a nap. Her nephew Mane returned home around 5pm and found her sleeping. When he went to wake her up, he discovered that she was bleeding," said Sanjay Shintre, deputy commissioner of police, Zone VII.
Mane immediately informed the neighbour, who then called the Vikhroli cops.
"Latika used to be alone at home through the day as her daughter, son and nephew were out working. The building is in a very congested area, and the neighbours can easily hear any incident in the house," said Shintre.
Latika was struck on the head with a sharp object, and the killer washed the bloodstains before fleeing from the house.
"He fled with a 15-gram gold chain, two earrings and a mobile phone. We are tracking the phone and that might give us a clue about the accused. But what is surprising is that a 60-gram gold chain is still in the cupboard, which was not taken by the accused," said a police officer from Vikhroli police station.
The police suspect it to be the work of someone who knew the area well, as it is not possible to enter such a congested area and flee with valuables.
"We are investigating the case from all angles and think it may have been the work of an insider," said Shintre.