Skooter reporting 10/27/12
A family friend who killed a baby girl and her grandmother narrated to police that he dropped the baby as he brandished a knife at the grandmother who rushed at him during a failed kidnapping, authorities said Friday.
According to a police affidavit filed in a Philadelphia suburb, Raghunandan "Raghu" Yandamuri, 26, a native of India, snatched the baby and placed a $50,000 ransom for the family because he knew both parents worked, and he left copies of a ransom note stating "It's up to you to decide, do you want your 1-year-old or five months of your income?" Ten notes were left at the family’s King of Prussia apartment but no one informed the baby’s parents both work as software engineers, after the grandmother was found dead Monday and the baby went missing.
Early Friday, the body of 10-month-old Saanvi Venna in a bloody white dress was found by authorities underneath a bench in a basement fitness room at the extensive apartment complex where Yandamuri and the victims lived.
While Yandamuri was interviewed, police sought family’s friends who directed officers where to find the body, District Attorney Risa Ferman said.
Ferman said investigators had expected to find Saanvi alive even as the week wore on. But they believed the infant may have been dead before she left the apartment, Ferman said. To calm the baby girl, Yandamuri put a handkerchief in her mouth, tied a towel around her head and placed her in a suitcase before he left, according to the affidavit.
Yandamuri was being detained without bail on two counts of murder, kidnapping, robbery and other charges awaiting a preliminary hearing next week. Yandamuri does not have a lawyer and did not enter a plea at a brief arraignment Friday afternoon. What’s more, he is not a U.S. citizen and the judge given him time to make a private call to the Indian consulate.
The father of the baby girl is Venkata Konda Siva Venna, and mother, Chenchu Latha Punuru, moved to the United States from India in February 2007 and occupied the apartment in June. The paternal grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, 61, arrived from India in July and was supposed to return home in January. The ransom note passed on to them by family nicknames, leading police to work on in on friends and acquaintances.