Mumbai Crime: Recreated face helps Ambernath police crack tough murder case

Updated: Dec 14, 2018, 16:09 IST | Anamika Gharat and Rupsa Chakraborty

Eight months after Ambernath cops found a skull and torso of man, they finally arrest the two men who had murdered him

Mumbai Crime: Recreated face helps Ambernath police crack tough murder case
The recreated face

The Ambernath police have finally crack a murder case eight months after finding the skull and body of a man in Jawasi village. They took the help of a forensics doctor to recreate the man's face and sent out photos to all police stations.

On April 10, 2018, the Ambernath police found a skull near the electric board at the village. A villager had tipped off the police and a team of police officers started searching the area. They soon found a headless body, too. ACP Sunil Patil, who started the investigation, said, "At that point, we found a tattoo stating 'Chand' on the body. That was not enough to find out who the person was. I discussed this with Dr Harish Pathak, professor and head of the department of forensic medicine and technology at KEM hospital and Seth GS Medical College. He told us that with the help of superimposition technology we could create a 3D face of the person. Within four months, Dr Pathak and his team had recreated the man's face."

Brijesh Prajapati
Brijesh Prajapati

The police then took photographs of the face and circulated them across police stations in Thane and Navi Mumbai. A few weeks later, someone approached the police stating that the recreated face matched that of one Brijesh Prajapati, a resident of Sion Koliwada, who had been missing since April.

Patil said, "We formed a team to investigate and found his wife, Savitri, but realised that she had not registered any missing person complaint. She was also not giving us any straight answers. We started keeping an eye on her and checked her call details."

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While checking the call details, the cops stumbled upon the names of Kisankumar Kanojia and Rajesh Yadav, friends of Savitri. It turned out that Kanojia and Savitri were having an affair. Kanojia was also a friend of the victim, but had a fight after Brijesh came to know about the affair. Later, Kanojia came up with a plan along with Yadav to do away with Brijesh. They took Brijesh to Ambernath twice for a party, earning his trust. They took him a third time in April but after Brijesh got drunk the two stabbed him in his stomach and then chopped off his head, and threw torso and head in separate places. Kanojia and Yadav have been arrested.

In June 1, mid-day had reported how Dr Hemlata Pandey, the only forensic odontologist in the state, took up the task of reconstructing the face. Speaking to mid-day, she said, "As per the police, the recreation was accurate. The only thing missing was the moustache. This is the first time in the state that such a case has been detected with the help of a reconstructed face. In fact, following this, the hospital has got three inquires regarding facial reconstruction where no other option is available. It is a proud moment for the forensic team."

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