The body of a 56-year-old woman, with her throat slit, was found by her husband outside their seventh floor flat in Andheri (West) on Wednesday.
The police said robbery seemed to be the motive behind the murder and four men had been detained on suspicion, including a garbage collector of the building and the society’s watchman.
Sources said two of the men have admitted to their role in the murder, but there was no official confirmation.
The Versova police said Sebatina Fernandes and her her husband, Victor, 61, lived at Juhu-Versova Link Road, next to actor Govinda’s bungalow in Andheri (West). On Wednesday, around 10am, Victor left home to buy medicines for Sebatina. When he returned half-an-hour later, he found her lying dead next to the lift outside the flat.
The safety door of the flat was locked while 5.5 tolas of gold jewellery that she was wearing – a chain, a pair of earrings, a ring and a bangle – collectively worth Rs 1.7 lakh were missing. Victor and some relatives took Sebatina to Cooper Hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.
“Sebatina’s throat was slit and there were injury marks on her shoulder as well. There was a wound made with some sharp object on the left side of her neck. Prima facie, it appears that she must have opened the door after the garbage picker rang the bell, was dragged out and murdered,” said Ashok Pimple, inspector, Versova.
The police said they found a nylon rope in the building’s dustbin. The rope was in a blue cylindrical plastic container that had bloodstains on it. The police will check the rope and container for fingerprints, an official said.
“The garbage collector was the first suspect as Victor had seen him with the containers when he was returning home. When he saw Sebatina lying dead and ran back to the ground floor, the garbage collector was missing,” the official said, adding that the suspect had been hired only eight days ago and had probably planned the attack. The watchman, who has also been held for questioning, was hired 2 days ago.
The police said further investigation is in progress.