In a major breakthrough in the murder case of a Borivli woman, the police on Monday arrested a 29-year-old man, who happens to be a close friend of the deceased woman’s daughter.
The accused was acquainted with the victim’s teenaged daughter since January, and used to visit their house regularly, said the police. The deceased, a 45-year-old housewife, was robbed and killed in her apartment in a Borivli (West) high-rise on Friday.
According to the police, the accused, identified as Rajendra Karanjekar, showed up at 45-year-old Seema Patade’s apartment “with an intention to rob”. Karanjekar was aware that Patade was alone at home, knowing that her husband was out of town and that her daughter would be in college.
“Karanjekar entered the house on the pretext of using the washroom. Once inside, he went to the bedroom and started rummaging through the wardrobe,” said Balsingh Rajput, deputy commissioner of police, Zone 11. While Karanjekar was stealing cash and valuables from the wardrobe, Patade entered the room. Her suspicions were aroused and she started quizzing the man, who gave evasive replies.
When Patade asked him to empty his pockets, Karanjekar pushed her on the bed and allegedly smothered her with a pillow, and then decamped with cash worth Rs. 94,000. He also stole gold valuables worth Rs. 3.17lakh, including a necklace, two bracelets and earrings.
Later in the evening, when Patade’s daughter returned home from college, she found her mother’s body on the bed, and alerted the police. The Borivli police started gathering leads, based on CCTV footage.
Investigations revealed that Karanjekar had met Patade’s daughter in January, after which the two became close. Soon, Karanjekar started visiting the family often. The police said Karanjekar was mired in debt and had decided to rob the family in order to manage his expenses.
“We scanned the CCTV footage. It was learnt that Karanjekar was at Patade’s residence at the time of the incident. We nabbed him from near his residence in Jogeshwari, following which he was placed under arrest,” said an officer, adding that they have also seized Karanjekar’s mobile phone. Police said that they had solved the case based on circumstantial and technical evidence.