The 63-year-old woman whose skeletal remains were discovered by her son in their Lokhandwala apartment on Sunday had informed the society’s managing committee that she planned to move into an old age home. However, even after she stopped paying maintenance for several months, fellow residents did not attempt to force open her door as there was no other family member present.
The body of Asha Sahani was found in a decomposed state by her son Rituraj Sahani after he returned to India from USA on an unannounced visit on Sunday morning. A post-mortem was conducted at Cooper Hospital on Sunday but doctors have reserved their opinion on the cause of the woman’s death. The police said due to the advanced stage of decomposition, it was hard to ascertain how long ago Sahani passed away. Also Read | Mumbai: Techie reaches mother’s flat on return from US, finds her skeleton
Subhash Khanvilkar, senior inspector, Oshiwara police station, said Sahani’s viscera has been preserved and sent to the Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory to find out the time and cause of death. The funeral took place on Monday, the police said.
According to the police, Sahani last spoke to her son in April 2016 and they discussed her moving to an old age home as she was lonely in the 10th floor apartment, following the death of her husband. Rituraj, who works at a software firm in the USA, had moved abroad in 1997, the police said. After that conversation, the police said, Sahani spoke to the society members about her decision to move to an old age home. However, the police said did not surrender the duplicate house keys with the management.
“The deceased had not paid maintenance for a year and the electricity bill for the past three months. Her electricity connection had been disconnected,” said a senior police officer. The society’s management did not intervene as Sahani had no other relatives staying in the city who they could approach. “Rituraj is also a co-owner of the flat and after his mother stopped communicating, the society sent all bills to his address. But since he did not come down to India, the society could not break open the door to the flat in his absence to find out what had happened to his mother,” said the officer.
Stench from Sahani’s decomposing body also did not reach any of the other flats in the building as they generally kept their windows shut and air conditioners on. “The building is located right next to the creek that stinks very badly. The building’s residents keep their windows shut and assume that any bad smell comes from the creek,” said the officer.
On Sunday, the Oshiwara police station registered a case of accidental death.