Evidence at the scene of crime and post mortem report have led police to believe that woman hired as masseuse by Daksha Daftary may have been her killer.
Explaining the theory, an officer investigating the case said the suspect, identified as Anita Shinde, had worked as a house help at the Daftary residence four months ago, when the family had a function at home.
“Around three weeks ago, Daftary met Shinde during one of her evening walks and asked her if she would work as a masseuse,” the officer said.
For nearly 20 days, Anita visited Daftary at her fourth floor residence in Shri Krishna Ashish building at Garodiya Nagar, Ghatkopar (East).
The massage session would take place some time past noon, when Daftary would be alone.
Her husband Satish would leave for office at around 10am and return at around 7.30pm. The couple's three daughters are married and live separately.
Police suspect that midway through the massage session on Friday, Shinde fetched a knife from the kitchen and slashed Daksha.
An official said Shinde may have had an accomplice, as the job could not have been managed by a single person.
The first major pointer to Shinde's alleged involvement in the crime was the post mortem report, which said that Daksha was murdered between 1.30pm and 2pm, when the senior citizen usually enjoyed a massage.
Officials also noticed that there were no signs of forced entry, which suggested that the victim had allowed the suspect into the house.
“The third and most obvious sign was that Anita was missing,” the officer said.
Qaiser Khalid, additional commissioner of police (east region), said police have launched a manhunt for Shinde.
Police said the suspect works as a domestic help at some other homes, and is believed to be a Ghatkopar resident herself.