Express News Service
Mumbai, June 20: IN A case that has baffled the police, the body of an eight-year-old girl was found in a hotel room at Dadar (East) on Tuesday afternoon.
The cause of death was probably drowning. The police are now on the lookout for the couple who brought the child to the hotel.
At 8.35 am on Monday, the couple checked into Hotel Vivekanand on Dadasaheb Phalke Road, Dadar (East)—it is a 19-room hotel which has tie-ups with corporates like State Bank of India to lodge their guests and employees—along with the victim.
They asked for a double-bed, air-conditioned room and paid Rs 1,000 as advance.
‘‘The child did not seem to have been brought by force. The man signed his name in the register as Sanjay Kumar and gave his address as Sevoda Street, Tirupathi,” said Lalith, the receptionist who checked them in.
“At about 1.30 pm, the couple left the hotel without the girl. They did not leave their room key at the desk,’’ he added .
When the couple failed to return the following day, the hotel staff got suspicious and opened the room with a duplicate key at noon, to discover the body of the girl stashed under the double bed.
“There was froth on her mouth, but there were no extraneous injury marks. She could have been drowned, as her head was wet and we found strands of hair on a bucket filled with water in the toilet,’’ said Senior Police Inspector Dinesh Verma of the Bhoiwada police station.
‘‘The girl was not the couple’s daughter, if at all they were married. We believe the child had been abducted by them,’’ he added.
According to the police, the couple and the victim were south Indians and while the man was about 45 years old, the woman was about 35. The police are preparing sketches of the couple and have intimated the Tirupathi police.
The police have also recovered a set of fingerprints from a jug in the room and teams have been deployed to check all south-bound trains for the accused.
The couple had left a bag in the room containing two or three sets of the child’s clothes. However, they bear no tags and could not help the police in their investigation