Nearly two months after he was found dead in his Fremont, Calif., home, police say they still have no clues in the apparent homicide of popular San Francisco Bay Area chef Dominic Sarkar.
Sarkar was found dead late night Oct. 8, hours before he was scheduled to take off to Bengal, for a short vacation to see his wife and three daughters who still live in India. The 56-year-old Indian American was the executive chef at Rangoli at the time of his death, and a fixture on the South and East Bay Area food scene.
Sushma Taneja, owner of Passage to India in Mountain View, Calif. – where Sarkar had worked on and off since 2009 – told India-West in October that Sarkar was one of the best chefs in town. “This is a big loss to the food industry,” she said, noting that Sarkar was scheduled to return to Passage to India on Nov. 2, after he returned from vacation. (See earlier India-West story here: https://bit.ly/2IO5VEm)
Lt. Mike Tegner, of the Fremont Police Department, told India-West Dec. 5 that no clues had emerged in the active homicide investigation. “We’ve got two detectives actively working the case trying to get leads, but sometimes it takes a couple of years before we can solve this kind of case,” he said.
Tegner said police believe Sarkar’s murder was a targeted incident, but a motive has not yet been established. There was no ransacking of the home, no evidence of drug dealing, or of robbery, said Tegner.
There was also no evidence of an altercation between the deceased man and his killer, he noted to India-West.
There were no obvious signs of breaking and entering, said the detective, noting that the suspect could have used a crowbar or other device to get into the home. Sarkar lived with two room-mates; it is unclear whether the room-mates or the victim opened the door for the assailant.
According to police reports, a community resident called police at 12:24 a.m. Oct. 8, reporting the sounds of gunshots. The caller said he saw a man of an unknown age or race leaving the house on a bicycle, and pedaling away from the scene.
The room-mates are not considered persons of interest in the case, said Tegner.
Sarkar was trained at the Indian Institute of Management in Kolkata. Besides Passage to India and Rangoli, Sarkar was also formerly the executive chef at Raga restaurant in Orlando, Florida.
A GoFundMe fundraising page – https://www.gofundme.com/dominic-sarkar – has been set up by Sonu Singh, to raise funds for Sarkar’s family in India. “Dominic Sarkar was very passionate and dedicated individual, who was a profound culinary chef in the Bay Area,” wrote Singh on the fundraising page. “He was a loving and caring person who has touched many hearts throughout his life with his culinary skills and as well as amazing character. He was loved by many patrons throughout the journey of his career.”
“The entire family is in despair and we are seeking to help the family with funeral and travel expense for his daughters,” wrote Singh.
The page has raised more than $3000 towards a $30,000 goal.