Mahim murder case: Cops have no stomach to probe extra intestine!

Updated: 21 December, 2019 09:35 IST | Diwakar Sharma | Mumbai

Forensic experts say extra body parts were found in the remains submitted to them; police have not recorded whether they belong to Bennett Rebello or someone else

Bennett Rebello
Bennett Rebello

A week after the Crime Branch recovered a limbless torso with head, stomach and intestine from the sea near Prabhadevi Chowpatty, believed to be of Bennett Rebello, it has come to light that two days before that, on December 11, they had found another stomach and intestine, which has no mention in their inquest panchnama. According to forensic doctors at Sion Hospital, only DNA tests will now be able to reveal which set of body parts are Rebello's.

The Crime Branch team probing the brutal murder of musician Rebello had recovered the body parts on December 11 while they were carrying out a search operation in the Mithi River near Sunni Kabristan in Kurla. Earlier, the investigating team suspected the body parts to be those of Rebello, who was killed by his 'adopted' daughter and her boyfriend in the last week of November.

But two days later, when a limbless torso with head, stomach and intestine washed ashore at Prabhadevi Chowpatty, the cops got confused. However, they sent both
sets of body parts to Sion Hospital's forensic department for tests. "The stomach and intestine along with the thigh were found two days before the recovery of the limbless torso. Initially, we thought these body parts were of Rebello, but got confused after the second recovery. However, by then we had already handed over the previous ones to Sion Hospital's forensic department," said a police officer.

DNA reports must
Speaking to mid-day, Dr Priyanka Bale from the hospital said, "On December 11, the Crime Branch sent us part of a thigh, stomach and intestines. Again on December 13, the cops sent us a limbless torso with head, along with stomach and intestine. Based on the description of the torso and the three-inch long metallic rod found implanted in it, the body parts seem to be of Rebello. His family has identified the rod, which was fitted in his body about 25 years ago. But in this case the DNA report is important to technically establish the identity of the body parts.

"The body parts found on December 11 were not wrapped in plastic. The cops had not mentioned anything about them in their inquest panchnama. We have preserved its DNA and viscera for future course of action." Head of the forensic department, Dr Rajesh Dere, too, confirmed receiving the body parts on December 11 and said that DNA samples had been sent to the Directorate of Forensic Science Laboratory (DFSL) in Kalina. Earlier this week, the DNA sample of Rebello's brother was collected and sent to DFSL for
a match.

Dr Dere further said, "The identity of all the body parts will be established based only on the DNA reports. First, we need to check whether the DNA reports match with each other. If it does, then we will check whether they match with the DNA sample of Rebello's brother. But if they don't, then it will mean that the two sets of body parts are of different human beings. If the body parts turn out to be of Rebello, then we will hand them over to his family, but if they don't, cops will investigate the
case further."

What body parts?
However, Jagdish Sail, senior PI, Crime Branch (Unit V), said, "No such human body parts [stomach and intestine] were recovered on December 11." Contrary to this, a Crime Branch source said, "The minor boy had stabbed Rebello multiple times on his right lower abdomen. So, while chopping off his lower limbs, a part of the stomach and intestine might have come out. Then the duo might have wrapped the parts in plastic before disposing of them." Meanwhile, Netaji Bhopale, assistant commissioner of police, said, "I need to check what body parts were recovered on December 11. But the officers should have conducted an inquest panchnama of all the parts before handing them over to the forensic department. I will check why it was not done."

Recovery timeline

Dec 2: A white American Tourister trolley bag containing a right leg with foot, left hand and male genitalia were found near Mahim beach at 4.30 pm. The suitcase also contained two shirts, including one tailor made, and a pant.
Dec 10: The second bag (maroon colour) was found in Mithi River behind American School in BKC at 5.30 pm. The bag contained one thigh and right upper limb.
Dec 11: Another thigh and stomach with intestine was recovered at 12.30 pm from Mithi River near Sunni Kabristan in Kurla.
Dec 13: Limbless torso with head, another stomach and intestine were recovered from Arabian Sea near Prabhadevi Chowpatty.
The investigating team is yet to recover the left leg with foot

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First Published: 21 December, 2019 08:11 IST

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