Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The 25-year-old air hostess who was found dead in her house at Mogappair was murdered by a thief on the night of May 21, according to the police.

Shiekh Abdullah (22) of Mogappair broke into the house of Neethu Kumari with the intention of committing theft. When she raised an alarm, he strangulated her and pushed the body under a cot. The decomposed body was noticed three days after the murder.

Investigators said the accused stole a laptop, ipod, mobile phones and cash from the house. Based on a tip-off given by a computer shop owner that Abdullah was trying to sell a laptop that had a photograph of Neetu Kumari on its desktop, the police arrested him. A special team formed to investigate the case tracked mobile phone calls made by the victim to various persons before her death and made enquiries.

On interrogation, the accused confessed that he committed the murder. The stolen property was recovered from his possession

. “He admitted to having committed a few other thefts. Though the death of the girl appeared to be a case of suicide, we had our own doubts. The final post-mortem report confirmed strangulation,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Central) V.A.Ravikumar said.