|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
LSU murders: Police appeal to residents for information
December 17, 2007 20:52 IST
With no leads yet in the double murder of Indian students at the Louisiana State University campus, a joint taskforce has appealed to the locals to come forward with any information in connection with Thursday's incident.
Officials from the four-agency task force, which is being assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, resumed their conversations with residents of Edward Gay Apartments where Kiran Kumar Allam, 33, and Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma, 31, were found shot dead.
Authorities also knocked on the doors of nearby apartments and left fliers at the houses where they did not make contact with anyone. The flier asked people with any information about the shootings, or a vehicle that left the apartment complex that night in a hurry, to call law enforcement.
Baton Rouge police spokesman Don Kelly said any information witnesses to a crime can provide is appreciated.
"It (the information) may not be anything," he said. "But, it might be key to solving a case."
"We are looking into every potential lead and tip," Kelly said, adding that law enforcement has not been able to pinpoint a motive for the shootings.
"At this point we haven't been able to rule anything out," he was quoted as saying by local newspaper The Advocate.
Family and friends of Allam and Komma gathered on Sunday at the Rabenhorst Funeral Home to mourn the loss. Prasanna Desiraju, who said he had known Komma for a third of his life, said he had to leave the ceremony for a while because he was so emotional.
"I'm still in a state of shock... Komma was a wonderful person with a great smile and a good sense of humour," Desiraju said.
Kristine Calongne, director of LSU media relations, said a delegation of more than a dozen university administrators attended the ceremony.
The ceremony was the second memorial; the first was held on Friday on campus.
Komma, a biology student from Kurnool and Allam, a chemistry student from Hyderabad, were shot in the head near West Roosevelt Street in the north end of campus.
Komma lived in an apartment off Burbank Drive and apparently was visiting Allam at the time of the shootings.
Diego Moreno said he was studying for finals in his living room when the shootings occurred. "I would have heard someone speeding by," he said, adding that people often barrel down his street in their vehicles. "I can't believe I was awake for all of this. It has really shocked me."
The LSU Foundation has established the 'Komma & Allam Support Fund' to assist the students' families.
O'Keefe on Saturday met Alok Pandey, first secretary from the Embassy of India in Washington DC, and KP Pillai, Consul from the Consulate General of India in Houston.
Indian Consul-General S M Gavai said that there have been no leads as yet and that the FBI is also involved in the investigations besides the university and the state police.
The families of the two students have requested that the bodies be flown back to India. But autopsy procedure and embalming can take a few days, he said.
Authorities also are still looking for three 'young black males', who were seen hurriedly leaving the vicinity of Allam's apartment, Kelly said.