A day after the body of a 23-year-old woman was found in Bhandup, the police said that their preliminary investigation indicates the possibility of sexual assault and murder. The body of Esther Anuhya was found 11 days after she had gone missing.
Although the possiblity of sexual assault has not been confirmed yet, what lends credence to the police theory is that the woman’s undergarments and her dupatta were found lying close to the spot where her body was found. Her cell phone, wrist watch, and gold ring have also been recovered.
Anuhya, a techie who was employed with Tata Consultancy Services, had alighted from an outstation train between 5am and 7am on January 5. She was returning to the city after a vacation at her home in Andhra Pradesh.
An officer of the city police’s crime branch said that the woman could have been raped before being murdered. “Her body could have been burnt with kerosene, petrol or acid so as to make her identification difficult,” said the police officer, adding that the post-mortem report would confirm if the woman had been raped. Anuhya’s relatives had identified her body from a ring found on the burnt corpse.
There are two cell phone towers flanking the spot from which Anuhya’s body was recovered. All phone calls made from around this location would have been routed through these towers.
Assistant commissioner of police Sunil Shejwal said they are have asked network service providers for all calls routed through these towers between 5am and 7am on January 5.
Another crime branch officer said they could also verify phone records of taxi and autorickshaw drivers operating from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus. Meanwhile, Anuhya’s father SJS Prasad flew to Hyderabad with his daughter’s body on Thursday. Her last rites which will be performed at the family’s hometown in Krishna district.