HYDERABAD: The charred body of a 26-year-old veterinary doctor was found at Shadnagar on the city’s outskirts on Thursday morning. She is suspected to have been raped before she was murdered and her body set on fire.
A driver and cleaner of a lorry have been detained in connection with the case.
The veterinary doctor, who was returning home from a hospital, went missing late on Wednesday, and hours later, her body was found near a culvert on the Hyderabad-Bengaluru National Highway.
The police found that while returning, she went to the ORR toll plaza at Tondupally to get her scooter, which she had parked there before going to the hospital at Gachibowli.
She had even spoken to her younger sister and said she had a flat tyre and some strangers were trying to help her.
She also urged her sister to continue talking to her over the phone, as she was afraid of the people who were offering help. Minutes later, her phone was switched off, forcing her family to approach the police with a complaint that she was missing.
Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar said more than 10 teams are working on the case. “The motive behind the crime is not known. We are probing different angles and gathering clues,” said Sajjanar, without ruling out the possibility of rape.
The police said the vet worked at Kollur of Nawabpet mandal in Mahbubnagar district. On Wednesday, she returned home from work and immediately left to Gachibowli as she had an appointment with a doctor.
She probably went to Gachibowli in a share cab and returned to the toll plaza the same way.
CCTV footage from near the toll plaza showed her walking to her scooter. When she reached her vehicle, two persons, believed to be truck drivers, told her that her tyre was flat.
However, when she tried to move on, they said she would be in trouble if the vehicle broke down midway, and offered to help her.
Speaking on the phone, she urged her sister to continue talking to her, as the situation was not fine and she was feeling scared.
As she went incommunicado abruptly, her family approached the Shamshabad police and a missing case was registered.
Meanwhile, around 30 km from the toll plaza, a farmer noticed a charred body of a woman underneath a culvert at Chatanpally village of Shadnagar mandal, and alerted the police.
The neighbouring police stations were immediately notified, and the Shadnagar police alerted her family.
They arrived at the spot, and with the help of a partly-burnt scarf and a gold pendant, identified that the body was her’s.
While investigations were underway at the spot, the police made a breakthrough as they found a pair of footwear, undergarments, a purse and an empty alcohol bottle at an open plot near the toll plaza.
The spot was near the place where she is believed to have parked her scooter.
The police suspect she could have been murdered on the plot and her body was dumped under the culvert on the highway.
The place and the discovery of liquor bottles gave credence to the theory that she may have been sexually assaulted before she was burnt to death.