US Police interrogating suspect in Indian engineer’s murder (Lead)

January 16th, 2009 - 10:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 16 (IANS) Police in Little Rock, Arkansas, are questioning a 20-year old man “strongly suspected” to be involved in the murder of a software engineer from Hyderabad, working with the scam-hit Satyam Computers.Police declined to release the name and other details of the suspect arrested in connection with the killing of Akshay Vishal, who was shot dead Tuesday in the seventh case of young students and professionals from Andhra Pradesh being killed in the US in last 14 months.

But the local media identified the arrested person as 20-year-old Brandon Johnson, who has been allegedly involved in as many as 12 robberies and three murders in the last one month.

The police said the same night one more individual was murdered. “We are trying to investigate if there is any link between the two or both the different,” an official of Little Rock City Police Department said Thursday on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

“We have been interviewing him (the prime suspect) all day today. He is a strong suspect (of the murder),” he said.

“The person, who we believe did it (the murder), is right here (arrested), but we are not releasing the details as investigations are going on. We can’t release any more details at this point of time.”

Police suspect robbery to be the prime motive behind the murder, investigations so far have revealed, the police said. More than a dozen people have been interrogated so far and three search warrants issued in the last two days.

Vishal, 26, who came to the US from India, worked with Dessault Falcon Jet on behalf of Satyam. His neighbours said he lived with his girlfriend, who called the police after he was shot at by the assailant. A profusely bleeding Vishal was taken to hospital, where he later died.

Meanwhile, the Indian Consulate in Houston has dispatched a senior official to help local authorities arrange quick transfer of the body to India.

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