The United States’ Federal Bureau has named an Indian national on its top 10 most wanted list for going missing after allegedly killing his wife inside a donut shop in Maryland two years ago. The agency has announced a reward of up to $100,000 (approximately Rs 65 lakh) for any information that will lead to his arrest.
A video released by the FBI shows Patel and his wife working on April 12, 2015, in the restaurant kitchen at Dunkin Donuts, where they were employees. They walk off from the scene behind some racks, and later Patel is seen emerging without his wife.
After allegedly stabbing her, Patel is believed to have walked across the street to their apartment, where he packed some items and cash, and hailed a cab. He checked into a hotel in New Jersey at 3 am and checked out at 10 am, which is the last anyone saw of him, Special Agent Jonathan Shaffer, who is investigating the case, said. Patel “should be considered armed and extremely dangerous”, the agency added.
A customer had alerted the police after he did not see anyone at the donut shop counter for a long time, the FBI said in a statement.
The 26-year-old from Gujarat was charged with first and second degree murder, and first and second degree assault on April 13, 2015, when a local warrant was issued against him. On April 20, 2015, a federal arrest warrant had been issued in the US District Court in Maryland, the FBI said.
Investigators believe Palak Patel wanted to return to India as their visas had expired a month before the incident. “The best guess is that he didn’t want her to leave,” the agent added.
Gordon B Johnson, the Special Agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office, said the efforts of the investigators with assistance from the public will help them catch Patel. “We will never forget, and will not rest until he is located, captured and brought to justice,” he said according to PTI.