Third arrest in the double-murder of Indian Americans | india | Hindustan Times
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Third arrest in the double-murder of Indian Americans

india Updated: Aug 17, 2007 09:30 IST

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Police have arrested a third man in connection with the grisly May slaying of an Indian-American man and his daughter in southern California and the brutal beating of his wife, officials said on Friday.

Charles Anthony Murphy Jr, 22, was taken into custody at his workplace in Irvine and is being held without bail at Anaheim's detention facility on suspicion of murder.

Police had found the mini van they think was used in the slayings and the evidence found in the van "made us confident" of its link to the crime, police officer Lt Chuck O'Connor said.

Last week, two suspects in the killings -- Iftekhar Murtaza, 22, and Vitaliy Krasnoperov, 21, each pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges.

The men are charged with the murders of Jayprakash Dhanak, 56, and his 20-year-old daughter, Karishma Dhanak, whose charred bodies were found on early May 22 after firefighters put out a blaze along a bike trail.

The previous night, Leela Dhanak, 53, was found beaten outside the family's burning home in Anaheim Hills.

Just before the slayings, Shayona Dhanak, Karishma's sister, had broken off her three-year relationship with Murtaza.

Special-circumstances allegations could make both men subject to the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Because the investigation is ongoing, the men's preliminary hearing is not scheduled until next year. "We're not ready to say this is all of them" involved in the crime, O'Connor was quoted as saying by the Los Angeles Times.