Three days after an elderly couple and their nursing attendant were found dead at their residence in south Delhi’s Vasant Vihar, the police on Wednesday arrested a couple for committing the murders. They have been identified as Preeti Shehrawat (42) and Manoj Bhatt (39).
Special Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, Satish Golcha said that the two accused, who are residents of Gurugram in Haryana, were dealing with financial losses and were looking for a vulnerable target and zeroed in on the hapless senior citizens.
According to the crime branch, Preeti was the daughter of one of the colleagues of an elderly woman. “They started two businesses - a restaurant and a paying guest house. When neither of the businesses worked out, they decided to kill the couple and ransack their house,” Golcha said. Preeti has been staying away from her husband for the last 12 years and has been in a relationship with Manoj for the last three years.
The two were arrested on Wednesday morning from Gurugram and the looted items including jewellery and Rs 86,000 cash were recovered. Vishnu Mathur (80) his wife Shashi, 75; were found with their throats slit open and their nursing attendant, Khushboo Nautiyal, 24 was found murdered at their apartment on the first floor of a building in Vasant village on Sunday.
During the course of the investigation, the daughter of the deceased couple, who lives in Greater Kailash, told police the police that on June 17, Preeti had visited her parent’s house and spent the entire night there. “On June 17, Preeti had stayed there to understand the location of CCTV cameras and to familiarise herself with the house," the officer said, adding, “On Friday, Preeti and Manoj did an escape route recce.”
On the night of the incident on Saturday, while Preeti went inside, Manoj parked his bike away from the house and waited for her call. Later, he went inside and the two of them killed the three and ransacked the house for more than two hours.
They planted evidence to confuse the police, which is why earlier, a man, believed to have been in a relationship with Khushboo, and a woman, he was living with emerged as suspects in the case. After committing the crime, they went to Preeti’s place and later shifted to a hotel on Sunday. On Monday, they checked in to another hotel.“After clues were derived from the daughter, the situation became odder. The two were detained and they confessed,” Golcha said.