Bodies Found In Frisco At Home Of Mom Accused Of Murder
story updated 9:10 p.m.
FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – Police discovered two dead bodies at a Collin County home Wednesday. The location is the residence of Pallavi Dhawan and her husband Sumeet.
Pallavi is the Frisco woman accused of killing her son back in January. After months of investigation Pallavi was facing a grand jury investigation for the death of 10-year old Arnav Dhawan, but always denied any wrongdoing.
Police surrounded and sealed off the house in the 15000 block of Mountain View. Late Wednesday night police still had not confirmed the identity of those found dead. Pallavi and Sumeet Dhawan are the only two people known to be living in the home.
Neighbor Lonnie Moore told CBS 11, “It’s kind of unbelievable something like this would happen in our community.”
It was just after 3:30 p.m. when Frisco police were called to the home. Dispatch had received a 911 call reporting a possible drowning.
Just after 5 p.m. a lot of police activity centered at the back of the home. CBS 11’s J.D. Miles, the first reporter at the scene, was told by sources that one body, a male, was found inside the home and another female body was outside in the swimming pool. Neighbors also told J.D. that they heard gunshots over weekend, but thought it might be dove hunters in a nearby field and did not report the incident. Neighbors also said a back door at the home had been open for several days, at least since Tuesday. It’s unclear how long the bodies had been deceased at the home.
Both Pallavi and Sumeet Dhawan testified in front of a Collin County grand jury last month.
Pallavi Dhawan had always claimed her son died from a pre-existing medical condition and that she preserved his body, in accidence with Hindu customs, to allow her husband time to return home from a trip. An autopsy performed later backed up claims from the family. The medical examiner’s report stated that natural causes were most likely the reason for the death.
The family said Arnav was born with a brain and skull that didn’t fully develop. The family said that according to customs, last rights would have been performed upon her husband’s return and her son would have been cremated.
Arnav Dhawan was a fifth-grader at Isbell Elementary School. Officials at the school notified Sumeet Dhawan after his son missed class for several days. When Sumeet returned home from his trip he called police saying he was concerned for his wife and child.
Sumeet Dhawan told authorities his wife had left a few hours earlier to pick their son up from a tutoring session and that she had not returned. During his interaction with authorities Pallavi Dhawan arrived back at the home, but did not have Arnev with her. After speaking with her husband, the couple motioned police toward a bedroom door, that was locked.
According to officials, officers asked Pallavi if her son was in the room and she nodded “yes.” Pallavi allegedly nodded again when officers asked if she killed her son. Police kicked down the door to the bedroom, went into an adjoining bathroom and found Arnev dead. His body was wrapped in cloth and was lying in a dry bathtub surrounded by ice packs.
When police made the claims of Pallavi confessing family attorney David Finn said, “That didn’t happen. The police never asked her, ‘did you do this?’ That’s pure fiction. The minute they kicked the door in and found Arnav, she was separated from her husband, handcuffed, thrown in the squad car, and Mirandized. That question was never asked.”
During the investigation Sumeet Dhawan allegedly told police that he and his wife had been having marital problems for a few months. He allegedly also mentioned that his wife was coping with mental problems.
Since the death of their son the family said they felt as if they were being singled because of cultural bias, and that police did not understand what their requirements were as Hindu parents. The family had been fighting since January to have a number of their personal possessions returned.
In addition to a grand jury meeting to consider a murder indictment, the Dhawan’s had been under a financial strain, partly because they had to rent a car since theirs was being held by investigators. At the end of May, police relented and gave the family their car back. Police had been holding the Lexus, claiming the vehicle was part of their murder investigation.
Sources tell CBS 11 News the family had been trying to travel back to India but was unable to do so, because they had been forced to surrender their passports.
Finn said he had just spoken with the couple over weekend and can’t believe what has happened.
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