Sasikala Narra and her son, Anish, were found dead on March 23, 2017, in Maple Shade, New Jersey. Their bodies were discovered inside their residence at the Fox Meadow Apartments at 9:00 p.m. They were last seen alive two hours prior, when Sasikala picked Anish up from school.
Local authorities were able to determine that Sasikala and Anish were murdered although the killer has yet to be identified. The FBI is offering a reward up to $25,000 for any information that may lead to the identity and apprehension of their killer.
Sasikala’s husband, Hanumantha Rao Narra, had returned home around 9:00 p.m. after attending a happy hour at his office. He told police that he had called out to his wife and son, but they did not reply. He then proceeded to walk into the bedroom where he “found them dead with blood everywhere.”
Rao called 911 immediately and told them what he had discovered, explaining that he had no clue what had happened. The Maple Shade police released the 911 call in which an unidentified woman’s voice could be heard in the background. When asked if Rao was able to perform CPR, the woman shouted, “No you can’t. Their throats are slit.”
Joel Bewley , a spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, reported that Sasikala and Anish had both been stabbed numerous times. He immediately ruled out the possibility that the double homicide was a hate crime.
“We have no reason to believe that this is a hate crime based on Indian origin.” When questioned about any evidence that demonstrated his theory, he simply replied, “We’re still investigating these crimes.”
Maple Shade Police Chief Gary Gubbei supported Bewley’s claims that the murders were not a hate crime.
Although Rao’s attorney, Jack Venturi, claims he has a “convincing alibi,” he more than likely will still remain a suspect until the killer has been convicted. This course of action doesn’t sit well with Venturi, however.
“It is a far different thing to say that someone is named a suspect of a crime than it is to say that the person has not been eliminated as a suspect,” Venturi said.
It is possible that Rao’s rumored affair with a co-worker could somehow be a driving force behind his suspicion.
Sasiskala had two $500,000 life insurance policies for her and her son, of which Rao was the beneficiary. However, the insurance company is not prepared to hand over the $1M until he is definitively ruled out as a suspect.
The New Jersey “Slayer Statute” completely prohibits a killer’s claims of life insurance. Since Rao is still a suspect, Sasiskala’s parents have filed their own claim for their daughter’s insurance policy. Prudential is attempting to halt any payout in order to avoid competing claims, which could result in a drawn-out legal case.
If you have any information, you may contact the Newark FBI Field Office at 1-973-792-3000. You can also contact the FBI tip line at 1-800-225-5324.