A couple has been arrested for allegedly killing a 70-year-old relative and dumping her body in a lake at Bhiwandi taluka in Maharashtra's Thane district, the police said today.
According to the police, the accused may have hatched the plan to kill the victim after being inspired by popular crime shows on television.
The police arrested Somnath Wakde (37) and his wife Neelam (31) on Monday for allegedly killing their elderly relative and neighbour Sonubai Krishna Chowdhari, deputy superintendent of police Thane Rural Dr Shivaji Rathod said.
On November 22, the body of the victim was found floating in the lake at Vadunavghar in Bhiwandi, he said.
The post-mortem report indicated that the woman has died as a result of being hit on the head with a hard and blunt object, he added.
Further investigations revealed that Chowdhari, a resident of Bapgaon in Choudharpada, was reported missing by her son, who had registered a complaint with the Padgha police station on November 21, the officer said.
The police scanned the CCTV footages from Choudharpada and Vadunavghar areas and found the activities of Chowdhari's neighbours, who were also her relatives, suspicious, he said.
On interrogating the duo, the police found that the couple had allegedly assaulted the victim with a washing paddle when the latter had visited their home on the afternoon of November 21, the official said.
Wakde later hired a friend's vehicle to transport the body and dumped it in the lake at night, he added.
While Wakde worked as a driver, his wife was an Anganwadi worker, Rathod said, adding that the couple were hugely in debt.
During the probe, the wife confessed that she watched shows like Crime Patrol and Savdhaan India and hatched the plan to kill the victim and rob her to pay off the loans, he said.
The police have seized the car used in the crime and also recovered jewellery worth around Rs 2.90 lakh from the accused's home, which was reportedly stolen from the victim, the official said.
A case has been registered against the duo under sections of murder and causing disappearance of evidence of offence at the Bhiwandi police station, he added.