Two days after 32-year-old Indian-origin dentist Preethi Reddy went missing from one of Sydney's busiest areas under mysterious circumstances, her body was found stuffed in a suitcase with multiple stab wounds. The suitcase itself, was found in her car, which was parked in a street in eastern Sydney, the New South Wales Police said. The investigation officials also said that the main suspect in the killing, her former boyfriend, died in a road accident that seemed deliberate, shortly after she was murdered.
"Preethi Reddy was reported missing by her family on Sunday (March 3), after she failed to come home from a dental convention at St Leonards. Police were told she last made contact with her family about 11 am on Sunday, saying she planned to head home after having a late breakfast in Sydney. Initial inquiries revealed she attended a fast food restaurant on George Street near King Street about 2:15 am that day and appeared to leave alone, walking toward Market Street," the New South Wales Police Force said in a statement.
The police said that Preethi's image while standing at a line in McDonalds was the last clear shot that they had of her, from CCTV footage. The investigation officials also launched a search which included inquiries to locate her vehicle, a grey Volkswagen Golf.
"Following an appeal for information to the community, Preethiâ€™s vehicle was located parked on Strachan Street, Kingsford, about 9:30 pm on Tuesday (March 5). During a search of the vehicle, police located Preethiâ€™s body in a suitcase. Further inquiries have established that Preethi stayed at a hotel on Market Street in Sydney on Sunday with a man known to her. Strike Force Carlwood investigators have since been notified that the man died in a head-on collision on the New England Highway near Willow Tree at about 10 pm on Monday (March 4). Detectives from Oxley Police Area Command are investigating the circumstances surrounding the collision, which is believed to be a deliberate act," the statement added.
Following Preethi's mysterious disappearance, a page was also opened on Facebook by her family and friends, appealing for help to find her.
"You may have all seen the news this morning but our dearest Preethi is no longer with us. Thank you all for your kind messages and from the bottom of my heart and support in looking for her. In this difficult time we ask that you respect the familyâ€™s privacy and refer to the NSW Police Force for further news," her family said in a statement, after the police announced that her body had been found.
Glenbrook Dental Surgery, where Preethi was working, also said that they were in mourning, after hearing the news.
Meanwhile, media reports identified the ex-boyfriend as 34-year-old Harshwardhan Narde. The Daily Mail reported that Harshwardhan was also a dentist in Tamworth and was at the same conference that Preethi had attended. He was reported to have deliberately crashed into a semi-trailer which later caught fire. While he succumbed to his injuries in the accident, the truck driver managed to escape. The newspaper also quoted family members as saying that Harsh had allegedly been harassing Preethi.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported Preethi's friends as saying that she was firm on her decision to break-up with Harsh several years ago, but the latter did not accept it. The newspaper also quoted investigators as saying that Harsh may have attended the conference just to meet her again.