No foul play in Indian woman’s death: US police (Lead, changing dateline)

November 22nd, 2008 - 2:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Los Angeles/Hyderabad, Nov 22 (IANS) The police in the US said Saturday that no foul play was suspected in the death of a 24-year-old woman from Andhra Pradesh state, while her family claimed that the death might be connected to her husband’s demand for more dowry. Goli Sushma was found dead Thursday afternoon at her home at Northridge city near Los Angeles. Devonshire Police Station, under whose jurisdiction the incident happened, sent a three-member team to the house.

While the autopsy report, which would determine the cause of death, is yet to be received, police said preliminary investigations did not point to foul play.

“I do not believe that there is a crime associated with the death,” Sergeant Maria Stpierre, supervisor at the Devonshire Police Station, told IANS.

“It is an ongoing investigation,” she said when asked if any suicide note was found.

Sushma had married Goli Suresh Babu, a software engineer, in April 2006 and had been staying in the US for the past one year.

Sushma’s father V. Kanakarajam, a resident of Hyderabad, said he received the news of his daughter’s death Friday from Harika, a relative in Los Angeles.

Babu had rung up Harika and asked her to visit the house saying he had some problem. By the time Harika reached there, Sushma’s body had been shifted to a hospital for autopsy, Kanakarajam said.

The grief stricken father said that he made several attempts to contact his son-in-law over phone but he did not respond, giving rise to suspicion about foul play.

Sushma’s relatives said they had also not received any information from Babu’s parents who also stay in Hyderabad. They added that Babu had complained that the marriage was not performed on a grand scale. He was also not satisfied with the Rs.1 million dowry Sushma’s parents had given.

“We are totally in dark. We don’t know what happened there,” said Sushma’s younger brother Vamshi, who was to leave for the US in a couple of days to pursue his master’s degree.

“She used to call us often but there had been no calls in the past three days,” said Sushma’s mother V. Bhagya, crying inconsolably.

The family is refusing to believe reports that Sushma committed suicide.
“She had no reasons to end her life. She was strong willed,” said her uncle Laxmirajam.

The families of the couple hail from Karimnagar district of Andhra Pradesh but were settled in Hyderabad for the last few years.

Sushma, who completed her engineering degree from a city college, had worked in a private bank in Hyderabad for a year before marriage.

This is the latest in a series of suspicious deaths of people from Andhra Pradesh living in the US. Arpana, a 24-year-old software engineer, was found murdered early this month in her apartment in Redmond, a suburb of Seattle.

The bodies of Jayalakshmi, 37, and her two children were found on Oct 27 in their apartment in Novi township, 20 km from Detroit.

Unemployed computer programmer Lakshminivasa Rao Nerusu, belonging to Krishna district, has been charged with the murder of his wife Jayalakshmi and the two children. He is still at large.

T. Soumya Reddy, a postgraduate student, and her cousin Vikram Reddy, a software engineer, were found shot dead near a lake Chicago in September this year.

Srinivas, a postgraduate medical student from Karimnagar, was murdered in Pennsylvania in March.

A. Kirankumar and K. Chandrasekhar Reddy, both PhD students, were shot dead in their apartment at Louisiana University in December 2007.

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