A nine-year-old Indian girl was found dead under mysterious circumstances in her home’s bathroom here. Police questioned her stepmother, describing the death as “suspicious”.
Ashdeep Kaur had moved to Queens from India just three months ago and lived in an apartment with her father, Sukhjinder Singh, and stepmother, Arjun Samdhi Pardas.
Kaur’s was found named and with bruises in her house’s bathtub on Friday.
A neighbour who shared part of Singh’s house — and the bathroom — called him at work and told him that Pardas and his daughter had gone into the bathroom together. Pardas reportedly came out of the bathroom alone and then left the house.
The neighbour said Kaur had been in the locked bathroom for three or four hours and she had called the police. Police were on the look-out for Pardas, who was tracked down at a separate address in Queens.
The New York Post quoted sources as saying that Pardas was supposed to have been watching Kaur and is a “person of interest” in the death.
Kaur was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders.
“When I heard what happened, I couldn’t believe it,” said neighbour Nancy Fong in the New York Post report.
“Who (is going to) kill a baby? Who (has) the heart to kill a baby?”
Singh rushed home from work when authorities contacted him, and could be heard screaming in the back of an ambulance.
“He just moved a couple of weeks ago,” said Harmeet Singh, who works with the bereaved father at a restaurant.
Mandinna Singh, a cousin of Kaur’s father, said of the girl in a report in New York Daily News, “There was no water, but she was in the tub... The little one (the victim) said she (the stepmom) sometimes beat her.”