“IT SEEMS he foresaw his death. For he sketched a man decapitating another man with an axe. That his how his body was found in Aarey some time later,” a senior police officer in the city said describing the curious case of Brendon Gonsalves, a 23-year-old Goregaon resident whose severed head was found in Aarey in the last week of December. The mystery surrounding the death of Brendon is just one of the many similar cases with more bodies discovered from across the city which have either not been identified or where accused have not been arrested so far. To add to this list were two bodies were found in Kurla including that of a youngster found in a maroon suitcase at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) in Kurla on Sunday night.
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The case of Brendon, however, appears to be unusual as the sketches from his diary actually indicate a person being beheaded. “Since for days prior to his body being found, his family told us that he looked quite stressed out. So far nothing has emerged after talking to his family and friends,” an officer said. “There have been some drawings in his sketch book and some signs found near his house that we are trying to decipher. We are also checking if it is a case of human sacrifice,” he added.
On December 22, the day Brendon’s body was found, another body — that of an unidentified male — was fished out of a gutter in Wadala. The body was cut in half and only the waist-down remains were recovered. The torso and other body parts are yet to be found. “The body was highly decomposed and doctors believe it to be around 21-day-old. We found a label on the trouser and are trying to track down tailors in the area who may have information. The trousers worn by the victim were held in place with a rope rather than a belt, indicating the victim was poor. So we are also questioning local street dwellers,” said Sushil Kamble, senior police inspector at Wadala TT police station.
The previous month on November 3, the body of a woman was washed ashore at Cuffe Parade just behind Afghan church. Curiously, a tattered photograph of a woman was found on the body of the woman. The body was found by a naval team around 5.30 pm, wrapped in a bed sheet, amidst the rocks around 2 km off the shore behind the church. What makes the case more complicated for the police is that the body could have been washed ashore from anywhere.
A month after not being able to identify her, the police requested weather department to find out the direction of wind on the day the body was found, to try and gauge where the body could have come in from.
The body of another woman was found on May 6, 2016 in a disrobed condition in the forests of Kurar, Malad East. The victim’s body, discovered early morning by a resident of Pimpri Pada, had deep gashes on the face. The victim, yet unidentified, is believed to be around 25-year-old. The police, with the help of sniffer dogs, had also found a saree, a blouse, a handkerchief and a pair of slippers belonging to the victim in the forest. Initially, the cops suspected sexual assault but the post-mortem ruled it out.
“We are yet to identify the victim. No one came forward to claim the body, neither could we match it to a missing persons complaint. No arrests have been made, but our inquiry is going on,” said Limbanna Vhanamane, senior police inspector at Kurar police station. In the same month, the police also found the body of a decomposed man who appears to be in his 20’s. The body found in the Manish Nagar area of Andheri has multiple injury marks. So far he has not been identified.
The police are also trying to identify the woman whose body was found chopped in two suitcases and found on December 13. The suitcases were found dumped off a nullah near the Indian Oil premises on the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road. A technician working on the maintenance of the traffic signal had spotted the suitcase in the gutter and alerted the police. The police opened the suitcase to find a woman with her throat slit both hands chopped off. Minutes later, they found another suitcase in the same gutter which had many clothes and the two chopped hands.
A Crime Branch officer said that the way the woman’s hair had been combed, it pointed to a community in Karnataka. “We went there with the sketch that we had prepared for the woman. However, no one identified her. It has been more than a year. Once the body is identified, it becomes relatively easier to solve the case. Without an identity, we just have to wait for some clue to come out of the blue that will help us track down the accused,” the officer said.