Family members of P Lakshminarayana Murthy (70), whose decomposed body was recovered Tuesday from an apartment on Hyderabad’s outskirts, are at a loss to explain why they did not approach police when they could not contact him for nearly 40 days. The body was recovered by Murthy’s wife and daughter after they returned from the US and started looking for him. Police believe he died around August 20 of a fatal head injury after he slipped while coming out of the bathroom.
Murthy’s daughter P Sujanya said she and her sister are settled in the US and had invited their parents over, but Murthy did not go and sent his wife. A retired state government employee, Murthy stayed with his wife at his ancestral home in Rajahmahendravaram, earlier known as Rajahmundry.
“We thought he was visiting relatives. We called everyone we knew. He came to Hyderabad on August 18 to attend a wedding. We don’t know where he was staying, but he had the key to my flat at Rock Town Colony. When he stopped answering calls, we asked some relatives to check at my flat. But the entry door has an automated lock and it is difficult to ascertain if it is locked from inside or outside. The watchman or neighbours did not see him coming.
There are no CCTV cameras, so there was no way of knowing if he returned. Relatives who went to check thought the door was locked from outside and there is no one in the house. We kept calling up relatives hoping he would turn up somewhere,’’ said Sujanya.
Sujanya’s daughter informed L B Nagar police station after finding Murthy’s body. Inspector P Kasi Reddy said, “I don’t know why they waited for more than a month. They simply said they thought he was visiting relatives. They were averse to lodging a complaint. That his phone was switched off did not cause them any alarm. They did not give us much information and were in a hurry to take the body away to Rajahmahendravaram for the last rites.”
“We believe he fell and suffered a fatal head injury. Doors and windows were locked so neighbours did not get any smell,” he added. The family did not lodge any complaint and the incident came to light on Friday when police disclosed it.