A young woman was found murdered with severe head injuries early on Thursday, taking the toll of such incidents in west Delhi's Baljit Nagar this year to eight, reviving the "hammer man" theory that police had sought to refuse last week.
Even after the latest murder, police maintained there was no psychopath killer behind the series of murders in the same locality.
"There is no hammer man in the area - the victim this time was attacked with a brick. The residents have seen the culprit and he would be arrested soon," said Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat.
"We request people not to connect the past incidents with one another and not to panic," he added.
Sangita Gupta, a 22-year-old newly married woman, was found murdered at her parents' home in the Janata Colony in the slum area at around 4.30 in the morning when her mother returned after fetching water from a nearby water tanker, police said.
No family member was at home when the incident took place.
After returning home, the victim's mother witnessed a man standing beside Sangita's bed holding a brick. On seeing the old woman, he fled from the scene. Sangita was rushed to the Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital, where doctors declared her brought dead.
Police seized the brick and also collected some vital evidence from the spot.
Police have registered a case of murder and launched a manhunt to track down the killer.
The latest murder in the area comes after police had on Monday refuted speculation of a 'hammer man' or psychopath killer behind the series of murders in the same locality.
Police had arrested an 80-year-old woman and a relative for allegedly killing her granddaughter Rajni, 19, on August 10 over money.
"There is no hammer man or psychopath killer in Baljit Nagar area of Anand Parbat. These are media generated idioms. All nine incidents in past two years in which three women were killed and seven sustained head injuries are not interlinked or connected," Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Delhi) Robin Hibu had said.
It was Rajni's murder which had fuelled and triggered apprehensions about a 'hammer man' among the nearly 300,000 people, most of them illiterate labourers, living in Baljit Nagar.
Other incidents of attacks and murders in the slum cluster over the past two years made many people believe there was a psychopath killer in their midst and the police too had not denied the possibility then.
The growing number of early morning attacks on women have scared people and forced them to hold night vigils in the area.