The husband of an Indian American software engineer – who was found murdered in her Maple Shade, New Jersey, apartment March 23 along with her son – allegedly told his wife some time earlier that there was nothing wrong in having an affair.
Sasikala Narra, 38, and her son Anish, 6, were found slain in the bedroom of their home by Narra’s husband, Hanumantha Rao. Both mother and son had been stabbed multiple times, Joel Bewley, spokesman for the Burlington County, New Jersey Prosecutor’s Office, told India-West last week.
Anish had stab wounds on his hands indicating he was attempting to defend himself.
Rao told Indian media he had been attending a “happy hour” with friends of his office at Cognizant, where both he and his late wife worked. “I was in shell shock," Rao told NOIX LIFE – a YouTube channel that covers events with connections to India – when he found his family dead.
Rao said police questioned where he had been that day and whether he had issues with neighbors or suspected anyone was responsible.
"They asked every single question, and then they let me go," he said in the video, which was published March 25, a day after the bodies were found.
Questioned by police as to whether he used his key to get into his apartment, Rao said he could not remember as he may have been on his cell phone.
India-West called Rao’s cell phone, which was answered by a cousin, who said Rao did not wish to speak to anyone. Rao has been cleared to travel to India to attend his wife and son’s funeral, but – as of March 30 – was still in the U.S., as determined by this newspaper’s call to his phone.
The Times of India, which made contact with Sasikala Narra’s family in Vijayawada, revealed the contents of an e-mail the late wife had sent to her younger brother, Sunkara Venu, a banker in Hyderabad. Narra expressed her distress over her husband’s alleged affair with a colleague from work. The affair had allegedly gone on for five years.
Narra said in the e-mail to her brother that whenever she confronted her husband about his extra-marital romance, he would insist that “there’s nothing wrong in having an affair.” She claimed that Rao had “dared her to do whatever she could,” and expressed helplessness over not knowing what to do.
Narra told her brother she was only staying in the marriage because of her young son. Her family believes the e-mail is a key piece of evidence to charge Rao with the double murders.
Maple Shade police have copies of the e-mail, according to the Times of India report.