AN ELDERLY couple was found strangulated to death on Thursday morning at their Khar West residence, which was found ransacked. While a domestic help working for the couple is yet to be traced, sources said the police have picked up two suspects for questioning.
The deceased, Nanik Makhijani (85) and Daya Makhijani (80), stayed in a first-floor apartment at Ekta Elite building on 21st Road in Khar. They had employed three women as domestic help and a driver.
Police said the matter came to light when around 9 am, one of the help arrived at the house. “She knocked on the door but there was no answer. She found milk and newspapers lying outside the front door,” said a senior officer.
She then asked the neighbours for help. When attempts by the neighbours to open the door also failed, the building watchman was called. “The watchman used a ladder to climb up near the flat’s bedroom window and found the two lying unconscious on the bed,” the officer said. The watchman then called the police.
An officer at Khar police station said the couple had been strangled to death. Their bodies have been sent to the Cooper Hospital for postmortem, police said.
Anil Kumbhare, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone VIII) said an offence of murder has been registered at Khar police station. An unidentified person has also been booked for robbery, theft, house trespass, voluntary causing hurt in the course of a robbery, and breaking into a house at night.
Police are questioning the driver and two domestic helps about the whereabouts of the third help. “The suspect had only started working at the house three weeks ago. Neighbours have told us that they last saw her around 8 pm on Wednesday. It seems two to three people are involved in the crime,” said the officer.
With the building having no CCTV camera, the police are scrutinising footage from those installed in the road.
The couple has two sons — one living in Singapore and another in the US. “They would call their parents daily. We expect the son staying in Singapore to arrive in Mumbai soon. Once he arrives, we will know what has been stolen from the house,” the officer said.