Software engineer murder: Cops detain two auto drivers who partied together the night after Esther went missing

Jan 23, 2014, 07:13 IST | Sagar Rajput

Both drivers partied together the night after the software engineer went missing; fellow rickshaw drivers who attended the party, have cases of sexual harassment against them


Cops investigating the murder of software engineer Esther Anuhya detained two auto drivers who operate around Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), from where the victim had gone missing on the morning of January 5. The auto drivers were reportedly present for a birthday party held on the night of January 5, the same day that Esther went missing. Eight auto drivers attended the party.

Police officers investigate at the site where Esther Anuhya’s charred body was found in the bushes of Bhandup. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Both the young driver who threw the party to celebrate his birthday, as well as one of his fellow rickshaw drivers who attended the party, have cases of sexual harassment against them at different police stations. “We have detained the two suspects and are trying to interrogate them, as we are still hunting for some leads in the case. After questioning the said auto driver, it has been found that more than seven auto drivers were at the party that night. The auto rickshaw driver had cut a cake and they had consumed alcohol,” said an officer, requesting anonymity.

Investigators are scrutinising the mobile records of all the auto rickshaw drivers for leads in the case. The cops are verifying whether the suspects and the victim shared similar mobile phone locations at any point.
Meanwhile, investigations have revealed that Esther’s phone, which had been switched off since her disappearance, was turned on by someone on the morning of January 9. The cell phone tower’s location was traced after this.

“Someone might have found the mobile and picked it up with the intention of robbing it, and even switched it on. But after seeing the dead body, the robber might have thrown the phone and fled from the spot,” added the officer.

The case
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. Her charred remains were found by her family members on January 16 from the bushes near Tata Nagar Colony in Bhandup (East). The post- mortem reports revealed that she was raped before being killed. Since then, auto rickshaw and taxi drivers near LTT have been under the scanner.

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