18-day-long search for the boy ends with the accused leading the police to the nala where he dumped the body
The 18-day-long search for a five-year-old boy who was kidnapped for ransom from Dundigal in Cyberabad ended on a sad note on Thursday when a neighbour admitted to having killed the boy, leaving the latter's family shattered.
Based on the confession of G. Raju, 29, Dundigal police recovered the skeletal remains of the boy, D. Venkatesh, from a nala on the premises of a steel factory in the Jeedimetla Industrial Area Phase-V. The boy's parents, D. Ramesh, a private factory worker, and D. Anitha, housewife, had been hoping for a safe return of their son since the abductor had assured over the phone to set the boy free if the Rs.1.5 lakh ransom was paid.
They were shell shocked when Raju, who lives next door and had been running around with Ramesh pretending to help trace the boy, emerged as the abductor and killer. The accused, also a private factory worker, was looking for means to clear his debts when he heard from Ramesh that the latter was re-building his old house in Priyankanagar of Suraram colony for a sum of Rs.6 lakh.
“He planned to abduct the boy and extort ransom from the boy's father. On the night of March 18, he lured the boy to a secluded place by offering him chocolate,” Inspector V. Bhaskar, said. The accused wanted to hide the boy at some place before making the ransom call.
But he got worried when the boy insisted on knowing where he was being taken. After an hour, he reached an isolated place on the premises of Jayraj steel factory, where he strangled the boy to death and dumped the body in the drain. He returned to the locality and joined the boy's father in the search. Even after having killed the child, Raju decided to ask for money and made the ransom calls from telephone coin boxes to ensure the police did not track him, the Inspector explained.
To mislead the victim's family and the police, Raju spoke Hindi using Urdu words. The first clue came when the kidnapper said over the phone that he had two sons and the abducted boy was playing with them. “We knew Raju had two sons. Naturally, the needle of suspicion swung towards him,” the police said.
Investigators also found him moving suspiciously near a place where the boy's family was told to leave ransom money. When taken into custody and grilled, the accused led the police to the nala where he dumped the body.