The ten-month-old Indian girl, Saanvi, who was kidnapped earlier this week, was found dead in the basement of an apartment in the Philadelphia township of King of Prussia at about 4.30 a.m. (local time) on Friday, a Philadelphia police official said.
Saanvi was kidnapped and her 61-year-old paternal grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, was killed by unidentified persons on Monday. The authorities had announced a US$50,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of the toddler.
“We have arrested a family friend, identified as Raghu Yandamuri, who was demanding a ransom,” the official said, adding that there were 10 copies of identical ransom notes demanding $50,000 found near the apartment.
“We have filed charges of murder, kidnapping, robbery, burglary and theft against Yandamuri. What we have learnt during the course of investigation is that this individual planned to kidnap Saanvi and was going to hold her for ransom,” the official said.
Earlier, Pennsylvania State Police had issued an AMBER Child Abduction Alert. District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said Ms. Satyavathi’s body was discovered inside the apartment.
She was babysitting the child. She had arrived in the U.S. in July 2012 and was scheduled to return to India in January 2013. The parents of the child, Venkata Konda Siva Venna and Chenchu Latha Punuru, emigrated from India in February 2007. - PTI
Double blow for family
Guntur Staff Reporter adds: The gruesome murder has plunged family members in Guntur into grief.
The family has been dealt a double blow. The family lost a caring a grandmother, Venna Satyavathi (61), who had been baby-sitting Saanvi.
After the news of the death of Saanvi reached here, family members, including, Venna Konda Reddy, his daughter Sujatha and son-in-law Srinivasa Reddy went into a huddle and politely sought privacy in this moment of grief.
They said they had hoped that Saanvi would be found alive and bring some comfort in the hour of tragedy. But the news of the brutal murder of Saanvi has left the family shell-shocked.
“The news is devastating and it will take a lot of time for the family to recover,” said a source from the family. Family members are now expecting the body of Satyavathi to be flown in from the US in two days and the burial is expected to take place in their native place in Prakasam district.