Mahim murder case: Cops trace tailor, body to be identified soon

Updated: 06 December, 2019 08:51 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

Police request Kurla tailor to go through his bill books and help identify the murder victim whose body washed ashore at the beach earlier this week

The suitcase in which the body parts were found; (right) the shirt that was recovered from the suitcase
The suitcase in which the body parts were found; (right) the shirt that was recovered from the suitcase

Four days after a mysterious suitcase washed ashore at Mahim beach, the case continues to get murkier. While the police managed to trace the tailoring shop where one of the shirts found in the bag was stitched, they haven't been able to identify the shirt's owner. A visit to the M/s Almo Men's Wear in Kurla West on Thursday too proved futile. The police had traced the tailor based on the tag on the shirt found along with three body parts in the American Tourister suitcase found behind Mahim dargah.

The tailor at M/s Almo Men's Wear tailors confirmed to the police team that the shirt was stitched at their shop. However, he was unable to find the bill book which could have some details of the person who had gotten the clothes stitched. He, however, told us that "the shirt looked like it was stitched a few months ago," the officer said.

The clothes that were recovered from the suitcase

"It is expensive stitching clothes at this tailoring outlet, which is why we suspect that the shirts found with the body parts might belong to some well-to-do individual," the officer pointed out. A team of police officers from Mahim police station also met the forensic surgeons from the department of forensic medicine and toxicology. Head of department Dr Rajesh Dhere briefed the cops about the varied probabilities in the case to aid the investigation.

Forensic experts who examined the body parts said that maggots were visible in the right leg and left upper limb and that they were not decomposed. The body part was saponified (a process that involves conversion of body fat into soap, due to humidity or being in water that arrest decomposition of the body remains). A male private part was also found along with limbs.

The tailoring shop where one of the shirts found in the suitcase was stitched
The tailoring shop where one of the shirts found in the suitcase was stitched

Also, the injury mark on the limbs (upper and lower) indicates that they were inflicted after death. The cut marks on them were fine, indicating that the accused might have used a sharp-edged weapon to separate them from the body, experts said.

Well-planned murder
The forensic surgeons said that the male victim must be in the age group of 18-28 years with a moderate built and a height of approximate 5.7 feet. It seemed like a well-planned murder to them, arising out of a love affair gone terribly wrong. Sources, however, ruled out a case of honour killing. The muscle tissues have been preserved for DNA examination, along with the blood samples for grouping, and nail clippings for residue, small skin pieces or blood stains, if any, of the suspect.

The forensic experts also believe that feel that the size of the American Tourister (46X35 cm) was perfect to fit the limb, which was wrapped in a black plastic bag. The suitcase seemed to be locked before it was thrown into the sea but opened up due to saponification of the body parts and it began floating. The limbs inside it weighed 4 kg.

Cops appeal for leads
Experts also observed that the second finger of the upper limb had the electoral indelible ink stain. The police also tried to reach out to UIDAI, hoping to get some leads, but unfortunately, UIADI is not allowed to share any such details.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Zone V Niyati Thaker said, "We are investigating the case on a priority basis. We are also appealing to people to come forward and share any information that could help us trace the deceased and identify him at the earliest."

The police have also launched a manhunt to look for the other body parts and are going through the missing person records. A case of murder and destruction of evidence has been registered at Mahim police station.

Tailor bills only up to six months
A tailor, Afroze Ahmed, working at M/s Almo Men's Wear located on Kurla's LBS road told mid-day that the shop has been operational since 1999. "We only maintain bills of up to six months and destroy the rest. People's body statistics often change in a duration of six months and therefore the earlier measurements are useless," he said, adding that he could not help the police with the much details of whether the shirt's cloth too was purchased from his outlet.

"We stitch around 40 to 50 shirts on an average daily," he said, adding that he charged a premium. "A regular tailor may charge '300 for a shirt while we charge over '400 and depending on the design, the rates may further go up. This is because we use quality material in stitching." The police have asked the tailor to note down the phone numbers of every customer visiting his shop henceforth.

Weight of limbs in suitcase

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First Published: 06 December, 2019 06:59 IST

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