Police have arrested one suspect for the murder of perfume specialist Monika Ghurde at her home in Goa on Thursday, reports said.
The 39-year-old, who was living in a rented apartment in Sangolda village, 39km from Panaji, was found dead, with her hands and legs were tied to the bed and her flat possibly burgled. Her mobile phone and ATM card were both missing. A post-mortem report revealed she was strangled to death.
Based on transactions made with her ATM card on Friday, Goa police nabbed Rajkumar Singh, a 21-year-old man, who was formerly employed as a security guard at the building Ghurde lived in.
In a joint operation with Karnataka police, Singh was picked from a lodge in Cottonpet in Bengaluru, where he was staying after allegedly fleeing from the crime scene. The police got a glimpse of Singh from the surveillance camera at an ATM in Porvorim, which was later confirmed by the inhabitants of Ghurde's residential building. On Friday, he made more transactions at a shop in Gandhi Bazaar in South Bengaluru, which set the police on his trail.
According to Ghurde's neighbours, Singh was dismissed from his job for his unsatisfactory performance. A few months ago, Ghurde accused him of stealing an umbrella, which proved to be the last straw. The building association took her complaint very seriously and let him go. Police suspect the financial loss, along with a desire to take revenge, provoked Singh to attack Ghurde.
Rajkumar reportedly confessed to the authorities that he went to Ghurde's flat on 5 October. "When she opened the door, he threatened her with a knife and demanded money. Monika offered her debit card instead and pin number," an official told The Indian Express.
Later, as Ghurde tried to snatch the knife and scream, Rajkumar allegedly attempted to muffle her voice with a pillow. Police said he claimed to have tied her to the bed thinking she was unconscious and might scream for help again. Serological reports are awaited to verify if there was any sexual assault involved.
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