The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced a reward of $100,000 — or Rs 65 lakh — for information that leads to the capture of an Indian man named Bhadreshkumar Chetanbhai Patel. Patel's name is the newest addition to the list of the top 10 people wanted by the FBI in the US.
He is wanted by the FBI for the alleged murder of his wife and taking an unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
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Why is Patel wanted
The 26-year-old Patel and his 21-year-old wife Palak Patel were in the US on an expired visa when the crime took place. On April 12, 2015, the couple were on night shift at a donut shop about an hour outside Washington DC in Hanover, Maryland. The shop belonged to their relative.
Just before midnight when there were a few customers, Patel stabbed his wife multiple times at the back of the shop and left by a rear door.
According to the FBI investigators, Palak wanted to return to India as their visas had expired, but her husband was against the idea. "The best guess is that he didn't want her to leave," said Special Agent Jonathan Shaffer, who is investigating the case from the FBI's Baltimore Division.
"It's possible that he thought he would be disgraced by her leaving and going back to India," added Shaffer.
Reportedly, having left the donut shop, Patel walked across the street to their apartment, collected a few items and some cash, and then boarded a taxi. The cab driver dropped him at a hotel in New Jersey near the Newark Liberty International Airport.
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"He checked in about 3 am with no bags, just the clothes on his back. He checked out around 10 am, and took a hotel shuttle to Newark Penn Station. That's the last anyone has seen of him," said Shaffer.
Meanwhile, when a customer entered the shop to place an order, he felt something was fishy when nobody responded to him. He alerted County Police Department officer Anne Arundel, who then found Palak Patel's body.
Although the motive of the murder is unclear, Shaffer pointed out that, keeping in mind that Patel remained calm after the crime and his escape was a well calculated one, one cannot rule out the fact that the murder may be have been pre-meditated one.
According to the investigators Patel could either be with distant relatives in the US or could have fled to Canada. "Or he could have travelled through Canada back to India. Those are among the plausible options we are exploring," said Shaffer.
"If you have information regarding Patel—who should be considered armed and dangerous—contact your local FBI office or the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate, or submit a tip on our website," read the FBI's official site.
Other wanted fugitives
Apart from Patel here are a few of the other top ten fugitives wanted by the FBI.
- William Bradford Bishop, Jr, who is wanted for the murder of his mother, wife and three children in 1976 at his home in Bethesda, Maryland. Reportedly Bishop disappeared after he disposed the bodies in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.
- FBI has put a bounty of $100,000 for any information leading to the capture of Yaser Abdel Said, who had murdered his two daughters.
- Alexis Flores is wanted by the FBI for the kidnapping, rape and murder of five-year-old Iriana DeJesus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Jason Drek Brown, has a bounty of $200,000 for information leading to his capture as he is accused of shooting and killing an armoured car guard outside a movie theatre in Phoenix, Arizona and fleeing on a bicycle with $56,000 in a duffel bag.
- The FBI also wants Luis Macedo for ordering the murder of a of a 15-year-old boy in Chicago whose body was later set on fire