New York, July 15: Key documents released to The Telegraph purport to seal the guilt of Pawan Kumar Anjaiah, the techie from Bangalore who was accused of murdering a woman in the US and apparently committed suicide by drug overdose.
The documents, released by Delaware chief prosecutor Paula T. Ryan, claim that Anjaiah shopped for the murder knife and later confessed to co-workers he had “killed someone”.
Ryan has filed a court petition to drop the case because the defendant is dead. But she said: “We are not clearing his name.”
Anjaiah, 26, employed by the New Jersey-based Cognizant Solutions, had come to the US in March 2011 on an H-1B visa and was to return to India this month. Police speculate he met Danielle Mehlman, 26, a mother, former teacher and sometime worker at a gentlemen’s club, on an online dating service.
They were seen together, witnesses say. Later, at a Delaware motel, Mehlman was found murdered with multiple stab wounds. An arrest warrant was issued for Anjaiah but he was found dead in a New Jersey motel.
Anjaiah was cremated by his family in Bangalore last week. The police and prosecutors rebut claims by the family that he was framed, robbed and murdered.
“There was no indication of foul play. The door was locked from the inside. The cause of death was suicide from a drug overdose,” the New Jersey prosecutor’s office said. Authorities have declined to release the three-page suicide note.
Ryan, though, released the court affidavit submitted to obtain the arrest warrant. Here’s its version of the way the investigation unfolded:
The police receive a call from the Delaware motel that the blood-splattered body of a white female has been found with a towel over her face. A knife handle lies on the floor and the blade on a dresser.
A registration card and a credit card receipt produced by the motel show the room was rented and paid for by “Pawan Kumer”. His signature is on both documents. Employees describe him as a tall “Middle Eastern” man with a thick accent.
The police find the package the knife was sold in, with the sticker bearing the shop’s name. The shop owner remembers selling the knife to a “Middle Eastern” man with a thick accent. Surveillance video pictures of the transaction match the description of the man given by the motel staff.
The man is wearing a blue T-shirt, which seems similar to a T-shirt found in the motel room which appears to have blood on it.
The police learn that another department is investigating a missing person complaint about a Pawan Kumar Anjaiah from his co-workers.
One co-worker, Bharap Tumar (the police may have misspelled his name), says when he went to pick up Anjaiah to go to work, Anjaiah said he was not going because he had “killed someone”.
Another co-worker, Fri Sanka, says Anjaiah called him to say he had “murdered a girl in Dewey Beach.... They went on a date, got into an argument and he killed her at a motel.”
Police find the taxi driver who dropped Anjaiah off at his last known address. They activate a search and release the video surveillance. The next day, Anjaiah is found dead.