The mobile phone of Tilakraj Rajput, who was allegedly strangled to death by his lover Purity Pascal Coutinho, alias Ronita, may have been stolen, the Santacruz police said on Thursday.
Coutinho had allegedly strangled him with her dupatta while they were seated in the second-row seat of his SUV in Juhu on Sunday night. According to the police, she had thrown away the phone after killing him, fearing it could contain incriminating evidence about their six-year-old affair.
“She is confusing us. She had told us about the place where she tossed the phone, but our police team has not found it there despite spending hours searching for it. We suspect she is misleading us,” said an officer of Santacruz police station.
Rajput, who lived with his wife and two daughters in a joint family at Juhu Tara Road in Santacruz, took contracts for laundry service from hotels and Coutinho worked as a receptionist in a hotel.
“We will get the call data records and messages retrieved, but photos and videos in the phone could have helped us to ascertain the motive behind the crime since they were having an affair,” he added.
The police have got the IMEI number and will try to trace the phone. The official suspects that the phone, before being stolen, may have got damaged in the rain.
The police have also sent parts of the SUV to forensic officials as part of scientific evidence, but they refused to share the details.
Coutinho’s confessional statement will be recorded by a magistrate, the police said without elaborating when it would happen. A police official had informed a magistrate’s court through the public prosecutor that Coutinho had confessed to having committed the crime.
She had denied the involvement of any accomplice in the murder, the police said.
The police said they have taken samples to find out the level of alcohol Rajput had consumed when he was strangled by Ronita. The report is awaited. The police said nothing related to the crime has been found during a search at Coutinho’s house.
According to the police, the tragedy was the fallout of disagreement between Coutinho and Rajput and the former wanted to end the relationship as she got married a year ago.