• Sunday, May 26, 2024

INDIA

FBI offers £200,000 reward for info on Indian wanted for killing wife

Described as “extremely dangerous,” Patel is on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, accused of the 2015 murder of his wife.

Patel, who was last spotted in the Newark area of New Jersey, is charged with the brutal killing of his wife. (Photo credit: FBI)

By: Vivek Mishra

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the US has announced a reward of up to £200,000 for details that can lead to the capture of Bhadreshkumar Chetanbhai Patel, a 33-year-old Indian national.

Described as “extremely dangerous,” Patel is on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, accused of the 2015 murder of his wife.

Patel, who was last spotted in the Newark area of New Jersey, is charged with the brutal killing of his wife, Palak Patel, while they were working together at a doughnut shop in Hanover, Maryland, US.

According to authorities, he allegedly attacked her repeatedly with an object. The FBI’s increased reward follows an initial £80,000 offering aimed at facilitating his arrest.

Charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and several assault charges, Patel became the focus of a federal arrest warrant by a Maryland district court on April 20, 2015. He was also charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

The couple, who were managing the night shift at the shop owned by a relative of Patel’s, faced a tragic turn on the night of April 12, 2015. Investigators say that Patel fatally stabbed his wife in the shop’s back room shortly before midnight, then escaped through a back door.

“The individual is armed and extremely dangerous,” the FBI said in their statement. Speculation by investigators, including FBI Special Agent Jonathan Shaffer from the Baltimore Division, suggests that the murder could have stemmed from Palak Patel’s desire to return to India after their visas expired. Shaffer said, “It’s possible he thought he would be disgraced by her leaving and returning to India.”

Following the murder, a customer entered the shop and, finding no one at the counter, alerted a police officer. The officer discovered Palak Patel’s body. “It was horrific what had been done to this young woman,” Shaffer said.

Realizing that Patel was an international flight risk, local police requested FBI assistance, and several days after the murder, a federal arrest warrant was issued charging him with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Investigators believe that Patel could be with distant relatives in the US or that he could have fled to Canada. Or he could have traveled through Canada back to India, Shaffer said. “Those are among the plausible options we are exploring,” stated Shaffer in a 2017 press release.

(PTI)

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