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Texas mother charged with murder after keeping son’s body on ice in Hindu ritual

By Scott Kaufman
Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:25 EDT
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A mother in a Dallas suburb has been arrested and charged in the death of her 10-year-old son, whose body was found carefully wrapped in a dry bathtub filled with ice packs.

Police arrived at the Frisco, Texas home of Pallavi Dhawan only to find her son, Arnav’s body in the bathtub. They claimed that Dhawan confessed to killing her son, but she insisted in an April 15, 2014 affidavit that “I want to make it perfectly clear to the world that: I did not hurt Arnav. I did not kill Arnav. I did not murder Arnav. I did not drown or smother Arnav. I did not poison Arnav. I did not fail to render aid to Arnav at any time.”

Her husband, Sumeet Dhawan, has said from the beginning that “the truth will come out, we have nothing to hide. There’s no injury marks, there’s no drowning, there’s no foul play.”

He claims that his wife, Pallavi, stored the body in the tub because he was away on an overseas business trip. Waiting for the father to see the body, the couple claimed, is an Indian tradition. She said she was following Hindu rituals — including reading Hindu scriptures over his bodies, because she was concerned that the boy had not received his last rites.

“Being in the state of shock with such a sudden demise of Arnav, I continued to try and follow the Hindu customs to the best of my knowledge as exhibited by the father’s [Sumeet Dhawan] family in the past, including preserving the body on ice,” she affirmed in the affidavit.

“Nothing is going to get our son back and I hope that what has happened to us doesn’t happen to anybody and cultural differences played a big part in this,” Sumeet Dhawan said.

The couple also claim that their son, Arnav, had a congenital disease that prevented his brain and skull from fully developing, and that the life expectancy for children born with this disease is, at most, 20 years.

The medical examiner who declared the case a homicide did not receive the boy’s medical records until two days after performing the autopsy.

Watch a video from CBS Dallas below.

Scott Kaufman
Scott Kaufman
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
 
 
 
 
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