Free Press Journal

FBI puts Indian who killed his wife on its ‘Most Wanted List’


Washington : The FBI has added a 26-year-old Indian national on its top 10 “Most Wanted List” and offered up to USD 100,000 reward for any information leading to his arrest, two years after he allegedly killed his wife inside a Dunkin Donuts restaurant and subsequently went missing.

Bhadreshkumar   Chetanbhai Patel, a native of India, is the newest addition to the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list, the US agency said in a statement on Tuesday. Patel had been travelling in the US with his 21-year-old wife. At the time of the murder, both were working the night shift at a donut shop in Hanover, Maryland, owned by a relative of Patel’s.

The agency warned that Patel, who stabbed his 21-year-old wife Palak multiple times with a large knife, should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. Palak was found beaten to death inside the restaurant kitchen in Hanover, Maryland on April 12, 2015. Both the husband and wife were Dunkin Donuts employees. Investigators believe that Patel could be with distant relatives in the US or that he could have fled to Canada.

“Or he could have travelled through Canada back to India,” said Special Agent Jonathan Shaffer, who is investigating the case from the FBI’s Baltimore Division. “Those are among the plausible options we are exploring.” Gordon B Johnson, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office, said the extremely violent nature of the crimes allegedly committed by Bhadreshkumar earned him a place on the FBI’s Top Ten List.

A video released by the FBI shows both Bhadreshkumar and his wife working on the day of her death, walking off screen behind some racks in the kitchen together. He then re-emerges back on camera without his wife, turning off an oven and leaving the scene, The Capital Gazette reported.

Bhadreshkumar’s been charged with first- and second- degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, and a weapons offence in connection with her death. A federal arrest warrant was issued a week after Palak’s death as Bhadreshkumar was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Investigators said he was last seen taking a hotel shuttle to Newark Penn Station in New Jersey on April 13, 2015 around 10 AM.

Police said Bhadreshkumar, originally from Kantrodi Ta Viramgam, Gujarat, India, had a visa to be in the US, but it had expired and there was no indication he was able to legally leave the country, the report said. Investigators believe that Palak wanted to return to India, though her husband was against the idea. Patel has ties to New Jersey, Kentucky, Georgia, Illinois and India.

“Palak Patel was murdered in a depraved act of domestic violence,” Anne Arundel County police Chief Tim Altomare said in a statement. PTI