The Pallavi Dhawan Double Murder-Suicide Case

     Sumeet and Pallavi Dhawan, before becoming naturalized U.S. citizens, were married by arrangement in their native home country, India. In 2014, the couple and their 10-year-old son Arnav resided in Frisco, a suburban community north…

     Sumeet and Pallavi Dhawan, before becoming naturalized U.S. citizens, were married by arrangement in their native home country, India. In 2014, the couple and their 10-year-old son Arnav resided in Frisco, a suburban community north of Dallas, Texas. A computer programmer, Sumeet spent a lot of time away from home. Pallavi had worked in the computer field as well but quit her job to care full time for their special-needs son.

     Arnav, a fifth grade student at Isbell Elementary School was born with a brain cyst and microcephaly, a condition characterized by a smaller than normal head. Pallavi often found herself alone in the house caring for the boy during her husband's extended absences. Recently she had been coping with mental problems and a marriage that was falling apart.

     On Wednesday, January 29, 2014, Sumeet, while on a three week business trip, received an email from Arnav's school informing him that the boy had been absent several days. At 4:30 PM that afternoon, as he was about to arrive home, Sumeet called Pallavi who said she was just leaving the house to pick up Arnav at his after-school tutoring center.

     At 6:30 PM that evening, when Pallavi and the boy had yet to arrive home from the school, Sumeet, concerned about their welfare, called the police.

     Pallavi arrived home, without the boy, while police officers were questioning Sumeet. An officer speaking to the mother asked about Arnav. Where is he? Instead of answering the officer, Pallavi asked if she could speak to her husband privately. The officers backed away.

     Sumeet became visibly upset when Pallavi, referring to their son, said: "He is no more." The distraught father informed the officers that Arnav was in the locked bathroom.

     Inside the dry bathtub officers found the dead boy wrapped up to his neck in a cloth. His body was surrounded by several empty plastic bags.

     The day after the discovery of the dead child, the Collin County medical examiner, without issuing a statement regarding the specific cause of death, ruled the case a homicide. The cause of death was being withheld pending the results of toxicological tests. According to the forensic pathologist, the boy had been dead two days.

     On Thursday, January 30, 2014, police officers booked Pallavi Dhawan into the Frisco City Jail on the charge of capital murder. According to the police, before officers entered the bathroom, one of them asked Pallavi if she had killed her son. She responded by nodding her head in the affirmative. When asked if the body was in the bathroom, she also nodded her head yes.

     On Friday, January 31, 2014, just after midnight, Pallavi's attorney, David Finn, posted her $50,000 bail. Later that day, in speaking to reporters, the Dallas based defense attorney insisted that his client, when she nodded her head in the affirmative, had responded to the question regarding her son's whereabouts, not to the question about whether she had killed him. The police simply misunderstood and misinterpreted what they saw.

     Pointing out that the boy's body showed no signs of physical trauma, and that his lungs did not contain water, attorney Finn announced that he would ask Dr. Nizam Peerwani, the Fort Worth based chief medical examiner of Tarrant County, to conduct his own postmortem inquiry.

     Attorney Finn said that his client had doted on her son, a happy, fun-loving kid. He also claimed that Sumeet Dhawan did not believe his wife had killed their son, and that he stood by her. A reporter asked the attorney why the mother didn't notify the authorities after her son's death. "That's the million-dollar question," Finn replied. Pallavi, he speculated, was probably in a state of shock after Arnav's death. She may have been waiting for her husband to come home.

     In August 2014, Pallavi and Sumeet Dhawan testified before a Collin County Grand Jury looking into the death of their son. In January, the couple had petitioned the authorities to return their car, fax machine and passports, items seized pursuant to the investigation of Arnav's death. The Dhawans had been forced to rent a car and needed their passports to travel back to India.

     On September 3, 2014, police officers arrived at the Dhawan residence at three in the afternoon in response to a 911 call regarding a body floating in the home swimming pool. Inside the house, lying on a bed, searchers discovered a man's body. The dead adults were presumed to be Pallavi and Sumeet Dhawan.

     The medical examiner, on September 6, 2014, confirmed the identities of the deceased couple. Sumeet had suffered blunt force trauma to his head. One of his hands had been fractured, probably as he raised that hand in defense.

     In October 2014, a spokesperson for the Collin County Medical Examiner's Office announced that Pallavi Dhawan had killed herself. She had drowned under the influence of the common antihistamine diphenhydramine. Sumeet Dhawan, according to the medical examiner's office, had been murdered by his wife. He had died from a combination of blunt force head injures and a toxic dose of several over-the-counter medications.
     

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/