Fresh leads emerge in Esther Anuhya murder case
Investigators stumble upon LTT Station CCTV footage that shows suspect chatting with a railway staffer, who revealed that the suspect was drunk and trying to board a train without a ticket
Fresh leads have emerged in the murder case of Hyderabad-based techie Esther Anuhya, who was found murdered in the city on January 16. She went missing from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) on January 5, after returning to the city from her Christmas break back home.
CCTV footage shows the suspect (in white shirt) in conversation with a Central Railway employee, who later confirmed that the man was inebriated
Crime Branch officials who are investigating the case have chanced upon CCTV footage in which the suspect, a man seen escorting Anuhya in the platform on January 5, can be seen talking to one of the rail attendants in LTT, on platform number 4.
“The suspect was waiting for Anuhya at LTT on the day she arrived in the city and alighted from Visakhapatnam Express. It seems that to pass the time, he had a 15-minute long chat with the attendant of a train that was heading towards Nashik,” said a Crime Branch officer, on condition of anonymity.
The police have now identified the attendant as S Nair, a Central Railway employee, who has confirmed that he shared an exchange with the suspect on the day of the abduction. The attendant told the cops that the suspect sounded like he hailed from the south of the country, and that he was inebriated.
“The suspect had been asking him to help him board a train to Nashik, even though he didn’t have a proper ticket on him. The attendant chose to ignore him, as the man was drunk. It can be seen that the suspect was so wasted that he couldn’t even walk properly,” the officer added.
The attendant was identified with the help of footage captured from the platform’s CCTV cameras. “After we obtained the footage in which Anuhya was seen walking with the man, we tried looking for the man in other footage, to have an idea of what he had been doing after he arrived at the platform. We came across this footage and sought the attendant, in search of further clues,” added the officer.
Esther, a software engineer with Tata Consultancy Services, went missing on January 5 after she arrived in Mumbai from Hyderabad, where she had celebrated Christmas with her family. On January 16, the remains of her body were found from the bushes near Tata Nagar Colony in Bhandup (East).
Cops had initially trained their guns on auto and taxi drivers who operate around LTT, but changed tracks when CCTV footage showed the victim walking beside an unidentified man.
While it seemed that the man was carrying her luggage, she was talking on the phone. The CCTV footage revealed that the same man was seen vigorously shaking a soft drink bottle around 4.38 am.