An Indian man is said to have killed his live-in partner six months ago and chopped her body into dozens of pieces, the police in the Indian capital New Delhi reported Monday. The suspect reportedly stored the body parts in a refrigerator and disposed of them in a bunch, piece by piece, over a three-week span.
Aftab Ameen Poonawala, 28, was arrested by Delhi police on Saturday on charges of murdering his 26-year-old girlfriend, Shraddha Walker.
The couple, originally from Mumbai, had not known each other very long. They met earlier this year through the dating site Bumble, Ankit Chauhan, a senior police officer in Delhi, told CBS News.
But when their families did not approve of their relationship — apparently because of their different religious identities — they moved to the Indian capital around late April or early May, police said.
The couple moved in together in a rented apartment in South Delhi’s Mehrauli district, police said.
“In mid-May, he apparently killed the girl when an argument escalated… he strangled her and cut the body into several pieces,” Chauhan told CBS News.
Indian news reports citing police sources say that the alleged killer, who is a food blogger, bought a 300 liter refrigerator to store dozens of the victim’s body parts, then took three weeks to dispose of the pieces one by one in a nearby forest in the middle of the night.
Some Indian news reports said that Poonawala killed Walker after she pressured him to get married, but Chauhan told CBS News that the “motive is not clear yet, investigation is ongoing, more details will come out soon.”
Poonawala is in police custody for five days and is expected to face more questioning.
Walker had lost contact with her parents after moving out of her home in Mumbai and living with her partner, police said. But in September, one of her friends informed her family that her phone had been out for two months.
The girl’s father, Vikash Madan Walker, then approached the Mumbai Police and reported her missing. Mumbai Police found out that her last phone location was in Delhi so handed over the case to the police there.
In Delhi, the girl’s father informed the police about his daughter’s relationship with Poonawala. Then he was arrested and confessed to the murder, police said.