Nearly two months after Hyderabad techie Esther Anuhya went missing and was found murdered here, Mumbai Police today claimed to have cracked the case with the arrest of a proclaimed offender, who allegedly made a failed attempt to rape the victim but later burnt her body partially.
Chandrabhan Sudam Sanap (28), who has several cases registered against him and working as a driver in Nashik, was apprehended from Kanjurmarg area in suburban Bhandup and placed under arrest today, Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria said.
The accused was produced before a local court which remanded him in police custody till March 15, he said.
Sanap is the same person who was spotted with Anuhya in a CCTV footage at the Kurla railway terminus on January 5, the day she went missing, police said.
The victim's decomposed body was found off the Eastern Express Highway in Bhandup on January 16.
The 23-year-old victim, a native of Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh, was employed as assistant system engineer with IT major TCS at its office in suburban Goregaon.
After painstaking scrutiny of 36 CCTVs' footages at the railway station and grilling of about 2,500 people, investigators stumbled upon Sanap, who was picked up last night.
"Sanap confessed to the crime and claimed his initial conspiracy was only intended to rob her. The victim's trolley bag has been recovered," Maria said.
Explaining the chain of events that led to the murder, he said Sanap, who consumed alcohol a day before the incident, had early on January 5 began scouting for victims at Kurla railway terminus and surrounding areas so that he could steal their bags or mobile phones.
"He spotted this girl (Anuhya) sitting at railway station alone and offered to drop her in a taxi to Andheri for Rs 300.
Sanap then took her to the taxi stand where the victim found that he had a two-wheeler and not the cab," Maria said.