Washington: 10-month-old baby Saanvi Venna, who went missing from her family's suburban Philadelphia apartment earlier this week, has been found dead and a family friend is charged in her death and her grandmother's killing. Saanvi's body was found today in the basement of another building in the apartment complex.
"We have arrested a family friend, identified as Raghunanean Yaneadamuri, who was demanding ransom," a Philadelphia police official said, adding that there were 10 copies of identical ransom notes demanding USD 50,000 found near the apartment.
"We have filed charges of murder, kidnapping, robbery,burglary and theft against Yaneadamuri. What we have learned during the course of investigation is that this individual planned to kidnap Saanvi and was going to hold her for ransom," the official said.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said the family friend planned to kidnap the girl and ransom her for $50,000. Ferman says that plan went awry when Saanvi's paternal grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, was killed trying to fight the man off. Mrs Venna had arrived from Andhra Pradesh in July and was scheduled to return home in January.
Baby Saanvi's parents, father Venkata Konda Siva Venna, and mother Chenchu Latha Punuru, emigrated to the US from India in February 2007. The couple lived in San Antonio, Cleveland and Troy, Michigan, before moving to the Philadelphia-area apartment complex in June this year.
The local police and the Telugu community had announced a $30,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of the baby on Wednesday. This was later increased to $50,000. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had also joined the massive search for the baby.
(With inputs from Agencies)