rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » US: 'Missing' Indian woman 'found' with a man

US: 'Missing' Indian woman 'found' with a man

December 29, 2007 04:03 IST

Anu Solanki 24, who went missing since December 24, is safe and is with a 23-year old man from California, Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff Thomas Dart announced on December 28.

The police had organised a massive search for her after her husband Dignesh reported that she was missing since 3 pm on December 24. The family and friends were on constant vigil without food or sleep for days at their Des Plaines home.

They also distributed leaflets with her picture in many places.  But it all ended in an anti-climax. It was the cellphone records that gave a clue to the police. Police found that she was in contact with Karan C Jani many times on that day.

Officials released a photo of Jani and asked if anyone sees the couple to contact the police. The police said they did not know where they went.

It seems Solanki tried to mislead others. She was believed to have gone to Des Plaines  river to immerse a broken idol of Ganesha, which was used during her marriage with Dignesh in May in New Jersey.

She left work at a gift shop at the Westin Chicago North Shore hotel in Wheeling early and believed to have gone to the river immediately.

But the police now say she might have met Jani at the Dam 1 Woods and left with him.

They said that Solanki and Jani had been in contact for about a year. Jani is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California.

Solanki placed a call to a female friend at about 1:40 pm, approximately 90 minutes after she left work. She indicated that she was on her way to the Dam One Woods to discard the idol in the Des Plaines River. She also said that a car with four male passengers may have been following her.

However, Solanki's cellphone records indicate that call was actually routed through a cell phone tower near DeKalb, nearly 60 miles west of Wheeling, leading Sheriff's Police investigators to believe Solanki may have been traveling west on Interstate 88 when she placed the call,' a statement from the sheriff 's office said.

After three days of search, the Cook County Forest Preserve District police declared her a missing-person case on December 27.

Police divers searched the Des Plaines River for hours on December 26.

Her Honda Civic car was found December 24 itself in a forest preserve parking near the river.

Dignesh, who manages a Chicago store, last saw his wife in the morning of December 24. Dignesh tried to contact her around 3 pm. Unable to reach her, he called friends. Soon they began a search and found her car at the forest preserve.
The family called the police around 4 pm to inform about finding of the car. The doors of the car were unlocked and the engine was still running. One of her purses and a laptop computer were missing. A second purse, which had some money in it, was still in the car.

A priest advised that keeping a broken idol is inauspicious and the proper way to dispose it was to immerse it in a river, according to Dignesh. The idol arrived broken when it reached them recently in mail.

The search in the river and surrounding forest found no sign of her or the idol, authorities said.  

On December 26, divers from the Wheeling Fire Department and other agencies used sonar to search the river about a mile south of where the car was found near Des Plaines River Dam No. 1, while officers in a boat searched 6 miles south.

Police used a helicopter and a dog squad to search the nearby forest. The search was continued till 11 am on December 28.

Solanki and Jani fled in a rental car, but the police did not know what make or model. Her cellphone stopped working also.

Officials said they have spent $250,000 for the search.

Anu's family lives near Charlottesville, Viginia. Dignesh had been living in the Chicago area.
 

A Correspondent