Upcoming Telugu actress Bhargavi was on Tuesday found murdered in her apartment allegedly by her live-in partner Praveen Kumar who is suspected to have committed suicide.
"It is a case of murder and suicide wherein Praveen stabbed her to death and later committed suicide by consuming cyanide mixed in a soft drink," Hyderabad Deputy Commissioner of Police C Ravi Varma told PTI.
The 25-year-old actress was staying in her single-bedroom flat in upmarket Banjara Hills locality. Bhargavi, who hailed from Guntur, started off as a stage singer in Praveen's orchestra and later became an anchor in a television channel.
After appearing in TV serial Ammamma.Com, Bhargavi bagged the second heroine's role in Telugu film `Asta-Chemma' that had another anchor-turned-actress Swathi in the lead. The film had a successful run and earned name for Bhargavi as well as Swathi.
Bhargavi was currently acting in her second film `Holidays', the shooting of which was underway.
Police found a suicide note, purportedly written by Praveen, which said "we have decided to commit suicide since her mother is not allowing us to meet."
Circumstantial evidence, however, suggested that Bhargavi resisted the suicide attempt following which an enraged Praveen might have stabbed her to death, according to an officer involved in the investigation.
"There were multiple stab injuries on her body, including one on her throat. We have recovered an empty poison bottle beside the bed on which the two bodies lay," the officer added.
Praveen, who hailed from Nellore, had earlier married one Swapna and got separated over two years ago, after which he started a live-in relationship with Bhargavi.
35-year-old Praveen had reportedly married another woman prior to his marriage with Swapna, which too ended in a divorce.
He, incidentally, mentioned his marriage with Swapna in the suicide note but did not refer to the reported first marriage, police sources said.
Praveen and Bhargavi together took part in a television show 'Aata' on Zee TV where their relationship bloomed, the sources added.
"We are investigating the case from all angles to establish what exactly prompted the deaths. We are awaiting the post-mortem report to proceed further," DCP Varma said.
"We are, meanwhile, sending the suicide note for forensic examination to determine whether the handwriting was Praveen's. We have to speak to the parents of Bhargavi and Praveen to get more facts", he said.
Police have sent the bodies to Osmania Hospital for post-mortem and seized the dagger used in the crime.