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How CID solved a decade-old gang rape and murder case

A CID team, led by police inspector Narendra Babu, investigated the family's acquaintances and narrowed down the search to the husband's boss and branch manager, Narasimha Murthy, as well as a relative of the woman.
Last Updated : 30 May 2024, 23:45 IST
Last Updated : 30 May 2024, 23:45 IST

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Bengaluru: The gang rape and murder of a married woman in Bengaluru 11 years ago might have remained a mystery if not for some last-minute luck and old-fashioned detective work. 

The mother of one went missing on February 12, 2013. Her highly decomposed body was found three days later in a eucalyptus grove in Chikkajala, about 20 km from her home in Sanjaynagar. 

Police initially arrested her husband, a clerk at Canara Bank in Mahalakshmi Layout. However, a court released him six months later due to a lack of evidence. 

On the husband's petition, the High Court of Karnataka transferred the case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). 

A CID team, led by police inspector Narendra Babu, investigated the family's acquaintances and narrowed down the search to the husband's boss and branch manager, Narasimha Murthy, as well as a relative of the woman. 

"It was clear that the body had been brought to the grove from elsewhere. So we zeroed in on people who owned three-wheelers and four-wheelers and were close to the woman’s family,” an officer involved in the CID investigation told DH. 

After clearing the relative of suspicion, the CID probed deeper into Murthy's potential involvement. 

The sleuths examined mobile phone data but found no leads. 

With the case at a standstill, the investigators prepared a closure report and submitted it to MA Saleem, the DGP of the CID, for approval. 

Babu said, "Before signing the report, the DGP reviewed the case details and noticed something suspicious in Narasimha Murthy’s call detail record." 

Murthy had sent 11 text messages to his friend Deepak C on the day the woman went missing. Although the CID officers couldn't immediately question Murthy, they picked up Deepak. 

Deepak was "elusive" during questioning, so the CID subjected him to brain mapping and polygraph tests. 

During brain mapping, Deepak revealed Murthy's text message from that day: "Did you throw? Did you throw?" 

Certain they had a lead, the CID officers grilled Deepak further. He disclosed that the body was first put into Murthy's Alto and then in a Maruti Swift owned by his friend Hariprasad S due to space constraints. 

While Murthy had sold his Alto, CID officers found no evidence in Hariprasad's Swift. They tracked down the Alto's new owner, who hadn't changed the car's seat upholstery. 

The investigators cut open the backseat and found bloodstains. Forensic tests showed the blood matched that on the veil the woman wore the day she was murdered. 

"When the killers put the body in the car, her blood seeped into the seat sponge," an investigator said. 

CID officers traced Murthy and subjected him to brain mapping and polygraph tests. 

During the tests, Murthy admitted he had picked up the woman near the Hebbal flyover on the pretext of showing her his new recreational club in Sahakaranagar. 

Murthy told the CID he, Deepak and Hariprasad raped the woman at the club and then assaulted and strangled her with the veil. They stuffed the body in a gunny bag and placed it in the backseat of his Alto and then the Swift. 

When Murthy arrived at the club with the woman, an employee who came to get his signature saw him with her. This employee became an eyewitness. 

The CID arrested all three suspects, who are now in judicial custody. They were charged earlier in May. 

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Published 30 May 2024, 23:45 IST

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