The Shivaji Nagar police in Ambarnath cracked the murder case of a 52-year-old woman with the arrest of three collegians on Monday.
The woman, Snehal Umrodkar, a housewife, was found dead on October 17 with her throat cut and her gold mangalsutra missing.
The three arrested accused have been identified as Virendra Ajay Naidu (22), an FYBcom student from an Ambarnath college, Ashwin Kunal Ashok Kumar Singh (22) an MBA student and a 17-year-old engineering student from a Karjat college.
All three are residents of Royal Park, a residential society in Ambarnath East. Naidu was a childhood friend of the woman’s son, police said.
“Naidu had continuously failed on one subject at college and needed cash to get his marks fixed. We are also checking on the illegal racket of passing students,” said an officer from Shivaji Nagar police station.
Police said Umrodkar lived with her husband Vivek, 58, and son, Aditya, 22, at Ambarnath East. On October 17, Aditya went to visit a relative’s house at Mulund while Vivek left the house at 4.30pm for work.
When he returned home at 9.15pm he opened the door to the sight of his wife covered in blood and lying on the ground. Her glasses were broken, her mouth taped shut, her hands were tied with cello tape and her throat had been slit with some sharp weapon. Only the gold mangalsutra that Umrodkar was wearing was missing.
“Naidu is a childhood friend of Aditya and the two others befriended him a few months ago. Naidu was very close to the Umrodkar family and used to visit their residence often. On the day of the incident, Naidu was chatting with Aditya and in the course of the conversation took details of who was present at home and when his father would be back. The trio then landed up at the Umrodkar residence wearing gloves, overpowered Snehal Umrodkar, tied her up and cut her throat. They then ransacked the cupboard in the bedroom but found nothing of value. They finally left with the woman’s gold mangalsutra,” said HN Shinde, inspector, Shivaji Nagar police station.