Mahim murder: Chemist says teens who killed man were stinking, they told him a rat had died at home

Updated: Dec 12, 2019, 08:54 IST | Faizan Khan, Diwakar Sharma | Mumbai

Chemist from where duo bought fresheners says they were smiling and chatting immediately after the murder.

Aradhya and her boyfriend at the medical store in Vakola
Aradhya and her boyfriend at the medical store in Vakola

The murder and the ensuing mutilation of Bennett Rebello allegedly at the hands of his adopted daughter Aradhya Patil and her minor boyfriend eventually led to the duo having to deal with the smell of rotting flesh. mid-day accessed the CCTV footage from the shops and also spoke to the shopkeepers where the duo bought 'strong room fresheners' from. They admitted that the couple exuded the foulest smell.

The duo bought a jumbo carry bag like this one
Gala Stores in Vakola

MID-DAY also has copies of the receipts issued for their purchase. On November 29, the third day since the murder and the final day of disposing of the body, Aradhya and the boy went to a nearby grocery and chemist shop to purchase jumbo carry bags and sellotape, and air freshener respectively. At both places, the duo was captured on CCTV camera. The duo first went to Gala Stores in Vakola at 10.31 pm to purchase jumbo carry bags and cellotape. They exited the shop at 10.34 pm. The jumbo bag was meant to dispose of Rebello's torso.

The duo bought a jumbo carry bag like this one
The duo bought a jumbo carry bag like this one

"We first showed them a bag around 1.5-ft-long; it can carry 5-10kg of weight. But they wanted a bigger one and chose a 2.5-ft-long bag, which can carry weights of up to 25 kg. They bought three of this and three rolls of sellotape," said the shopkeeper Kanji Gala. Next, the duo went to a nearby pharmacy, Holy Cross Medical, at 10.39 pm. They first went through the air fresheners on display and entered the shop at 10:41 pm, asking for a strong air freshener. They left at 10:45 pm. "They told me, 'chuha mar gaya hai, strong wala air freshener chaheye'. They purchased a small file of Ambipure and paid R199. They were stinking badly. That dirty smell was not normal; it did not seem to be of a dead rat. In fact, I told my colleagues at that time itself, but we didn't suspect them," one of the pharmacists said.

Holy Cross Medical in Vakola
Holy Cross Medical in Vakola

The duo returned to the pharmacy 18 minutes later at 11.03pm, asking for a stronger air freshener. They bought a bigger container of the same brand and left at 11.11pm. Another pharmacist said, "We couldn't sense anything wrong as both were laughing and smiling. They had committed a heinous crime but their body languages exuded confidence. We did not doubt them purchasing two air fresheners within such a short period. They entered the shops holding hands."

The duo at the grocery store
The duo at the grocery store

Gala on the other hand said, "I came to know about the murder only when the crime branch team visited my shop asking for the CCTV footage showing both of them purchasing the carry bags. I did not suspect something was wrong when they'd come. They seemed quite normal." Another seller at the pharmacy said that the couple was often seen together in the area. "They used to roam in the area and the deceased was one of our customers. We came to know about his murder through a newspaper. That's when we remembered our colleague having mentioned the smell. Then it made sense."

Aradhya and her boyfriend seen exiting the pharmacy
Aradhya and her boyfriend seen exiting the pharmacy

Nov 29
Day when the couple visited the shops

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