In one of the biggest ever manhunt launched, the United State’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is on the lookout for Bhadresh Kumar Patel, an Indian National, hailing from Viramgam in Ahmedabad.
Patel who figures in the FBI’s top 10 list of most wanted fugitives and carries an award of $100,000, is considered as a cold-blooded murderer and an ‘extremely dangerous’ criminal by the FBI as he is accused of mercilessly killing his wife in cold blood, in a doughnut shop in Hanover, Maryland in the United States in 2015.
Patel was placed on the FBI’ top 10 most wanted fugitives list on April 18, 2017, after intelligence and the security agencies failed to track him down after he was last seen taking a shuttle to Pennsylvania Station in Newark, New Jersey. He was the 514th fugitive to be placed on the FBI’ list.
Though this list is constantly updated and changed, Bhadresh Kumar Patel’ name remains on the list for the last three years as he continues to be in the run. A County police official, detective Kally Harding, who has been helping the FBI in the investigation was quoted as saying, “Patel’s wife Palak was young and the scene was very brutal. She was killed in a horrible way, that’s the kind of person (killer) we are dealing with.”
The FBI officials believe that Patel has connections in various places like Canada, India, New Jersey, Kentucky, Georgia, and Illinois which has been helping him to remain constantly in the hideout.
In April 2015, Patel, (then 24) and his wife Palak(21) were working in night shift in the Dunkin’ Donuts store. The CCTV footage of the night of the crime showed Bhadresh and Palak walking together towards the store’s kitchen before disappearing behind the racks. After brutally beating and stabbing Palak to death, Patel left the store and returned to his nearby apartment by foot. According to witnesses, he remained unfazed the whole time, as though nothing happened. Later in the night, Palak’s body was found with multiple stab wounds with a large kitchen knife.
Anne Arundel County police, who were investigating the murder, had stated that the crime scene was extremely brutal and graphic.
Investigators believe the couple had an argument and that Palak wanted to return to India but Patel was against the idea and wished to remain in the US. Patel is on the run ever.
After Palak’s body was discovered, investigators were surprised when scanning through the CCTV footages of the shop and the local areas. Bhadresh had coolly walked from the shop to his apartment, hired a cab, spent the night at a hotel near the Pennsylvania Station airport, Newark without any shadow of guilt, remorse or fear in his gait and behaviour. He had left the hotel on the following morning.
Patel’s visible apathy and indifference after just having committed such a brutal crime has made the FBI list him as a highly dangerous criminal.
Posters with various photographs of Patel have been printed in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and even in French and they have been circulated in different parts of the world where Patel could hide.
FBI’s agent in Delhi is also coordinating with different state police and law enforcing agencies to keep a tab on Patel’s known friends and relatives. The hunt for Patel is on in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi.