The Dutch mystery: Missing man kept texting wife's friends after she died

Updated: Jun 26, 2019, 10:00 IST | Diwakar Sharma

As friend says Avdhut used wife's WhatsApp to keep up the pretence that Sharmila Shinde was fine; cops confirm he had her mobile phone

The Dutch mystery: Missing man kept texting wife's friends after she died
Sharmila Shinde's decomposed body was found in her flat in the Netherlands last month. File pic

Information about Avdhut Shinde, who is missing since the mysterious death of his wife Sharmila in the Netherlands, doesn't cease to bemuse the couple's acquaintances and the police. Sharmila's friends now say Avdhut was chatting with them over Whatsapp after her death in an attempt to pretend everything was normal.

Sharmila's decomposed body was recovered reportedly from the refrigerator of her flat in the Hague on May 18, days after she had moved there with their kids to join Avdhut. The revelation about her body being found in a refrigerator has shocked her friends in India. "Her mother believes that something went amiss between the couple on the night of May 16. She used to regularly speak to me over WhatsApp. I had dropped her a message saying 'where are you…no msg' which was not delivered until May 17 morning. When I got up at 7 am IST, I received a reply from her phone saying 'Babe, was busy in kids cycling, just got up'. However, I remember she never sent incomplete sentences," said her friend, adding, "Also, given the time difference between India and the Netherlands, how can one go for cycling around 3:30 am? I had also missed her Whastapp audio call on May 17 at 00:51 IST and replied to her at 1:58 am IST saying 'sorry I missed your call' to which she responded at 7:04 am IST saying 'We all are coming to India. He booked tickets for weekend' and 'He agreed for mutual separation'. It was definitely not Shammu. When I replied, the message was not delivered until May 18 morning probably because Avdhut and the children were in the flight to Mumbai."

Also Read: The Dutch mystery: Sharmila's decomposed body was 'found in refrigerator'

Avdhut Shinde (inset) had dropped his kids to his parents' house in Mumbai on May 18. File pics
Avdhut Shinde (inset) had dropped his kids to his parents' house in Mumbai on May 18. File pics

Alarmed, Sharmila's friend asked another acquaintance in the Netherlands to check on her. But the Shinde's flat was locked. He then approached Avdhut's office where he was told that Avdhut had not reported to work since May 17. The office later filed a missing person's complaint on May 20 and following persistent follow-up with the Dutch cops, a team reached Shinde's flat in the Frozenstraat and Sharmila's body was recovered, Sharmila's friend narrated. Chances are very high that "after killing Sharmila, Avdhut might have planned to dispose off her body after dropping the children in Mumbai." But his plan "got derailed after Dutch cops recovered Sharmila's decomposed body," she added.

Also Read: The Dutch mystery: Did missing man's wife get him to sign restraining affidavit?

Did he book a return flight?

Sources at Dindoshi police station told mid-day that Avdhut came to Mumbai along with Sharmila's cell-phone and laptop which are kept at his father Madhukar's flat in Malad East. "He could be chatting with Sharmila's friends using her phone," said a police officer at Dindoshi police station. The Mumbai police are yet to check if Avdhut had booked a return ticket to Amsterdam after dropping his children in Mumbai. "We are checking with different airlines to ascertain if Avdhut had booked a return ticket to Amsterdam after May 18 when he reached Mumbai along with his two kids," a source at Mumbai crime branch told mid-day.

Location traced in Konkan

Sharmila's neighbour in Pune said that Avdhut would often pick a fight with Sharmila. "They had one SUV which Sharmila sold for Rs 5.50 lakh after Avdhut left for the Netherlands. I was told that they had a massive fight over that money which Sharmila had deposited into her bank account. Of late, Sharmila had learnt that Avdhut was in constant touch with his ex-girlfriend in Mumbai," the neighbour said. Avdhut, a loyal follower of Janubai (who has a temple in Jejuri, near Pune), must be living there, sources believe. The police have found that Avdhut has been changing his location around Dapoli, Ratnagiri and other areas in the Konkan belt of Maharashtra.

17 May
Day Sharmila's friend received the confusing messages

May 18 Day
Avdhut reached India with the kids

Also Read: The Dutch mystery: Missing Mumbai man spied on, and hit, his wife

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