Man with Victim’s Body in Car Killed over Rejected Proposal

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Woman killed for spurning the suspect’s marriage proposal.

  • Victim’s family said self-confessed killer not her ‘lover’
  • No one from the family has heard of him
  • He had known victim for only two months, not two years as initially thought
  • Victim likely made up story of marrying someone else to reject suspect’s proposal
  • Suspect and victim colleagues who often lunched together
  • Police believe attack premeditated
  • Victim stabbed in her car in hypermarket car park
  • Murder weapon was bought after the couple had lunch
  • Suspect had proposed several times in the past
  • Text messages showed the couple had argued over proposal previously
  • Suspect believed to have driven around aimlessly for 90 minutes before surrendering
  • Suspect perceived as pious
  • Victim’s pets pining for her

The incident in which a woman was stabbed to death in her car occurred because she refused to marry her attacker, police revealed.

“The victim wanted to marry someone else,’’ Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Zani Che Din said yesterday.

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However, according to the family of the victim, 35-year-old Tharani Devarajoo was not in a romantic relationship with anyone and the suspect was not known to the family.

Tharani’s uncle – who only wished to be known as Manimaran – said the family had no idea of the man’s existence.

“If indeed Tharani and the boy were in a relationship, surely she would have shared the news with her sisters at the very least.

“I even asked my nephew, who she shares everything with, but he too said that he doesn’t know anything about her relationship with this man.

“As far as we know, the suspect is just a colleague from the new workplace she joined,” Manimaran was quoted saying.

He added that his niece must have made up a story about her getting married to someone to ward off the suspect’s advances.

“She must have made up the story of her getting married to someone…as far as we know marriage was the last thing on her mind.

“In fact, the word marriage itself is enough to put her off,” he was quoted saying.

On Monday, the 37-year-old man drove to the Damansara police station with the body of the victim in the car, claiming he had murdered his “lover”.

“We have never even heard of him. As far as we know, she was not seeing anyone,” the victim’s cousin, who only wanted to be known as Malar, was quoted as saying.

Another family member said Tharani barely went out except for work, as she loved to stay at home with her four dogs.

“Apparently, the man was her co-worker in her office. Maybe it was a one-sided relationship,” the relative was quoted as saying.

Tharani was an administrative executive at Surian Condominiums Management Corporation, while the suspect was reportedly a building maintenance and security supervisor in the same company.

It is learnt that the suspect and the victim often went for lunch together.

On Monday, the suspect had taken Tharani to the hypermarket for lunch and bought a few household items, including a vegetable knife.

ACP Mohd Zani clarified that the suspect claimed he had been in a relationship with the victim since November.

It was initially thought the couple had known each other for two years.

Childhood friends of Tharani told the Malay Mail that Tharani could not have known the suspect for more than two months.

“She had just started this new job a couple of months ago and we have no idea who is the suspect,” a friend who asked to be identified only as Puva was quoted saying.

Puva, 35, said he was not aware if Tharani had a boyfriend but he remembers that “she prioritised her family more than anything”.

Another friend identified as John, 35, said he had last met Tharani about a month ago.

“We all met during a primary school reunion party, and nothing seemed out of place,” he was quoted saying.

According to the two friends, they were shocked to learn of Tharani’s murder and were interested in getting to the bottom of what happened.

Apparently, the suspect had unsuccessfully proposed to the victim and unable to accept the rejection, he stabbed her in the neck with the knife they had just bought.

“The suspect killed her in the vehicle after she turned down his intention as both had only been acquainted for a short period,” Mohd Zani said.

Azinuddin Ghazali

Investigators believe the attack was premeditated, as the suspect had proposed to Tharani several times prior to the incident on Monday.

They also recovered text messages between the suspect and Tharani that showed the two had argued over the topic previously.

It is believed that after stabbing the victim at the car park of the Giant Hypermarket in Kota Damansara, the shaken and confused suspect drove off from the scene and over the next 90 minutes, he moved around aimlessly in the area before deciding to surrender to police.

The suspect then drove the victim’s white Honda City with her body slumped in the front passenger seat beside him to the Damansara police station and turned himself in.

A sharp object, believed to be the murder weapon, was recovered from the car.

It was reported that a witness at the police station said the suspect was clad in a black uniform, complete with a name tag, when he gave himself up. He reportedly looked calm when he walked into the police station to surrender and confess to the murder.

“It was surreal. He walked in, there was no blood on him. He just told the police officer that he had murdered his girlfriend and that her body was in the car,” the witness was quoted saying.

At about 6.50pm, the police left with the suspect for the crime scene at the car park of the hypermarket in PJU5 to gather evidence.

Kenneth Tee

Police are expected to review the hypermarket’s CCTV recordings as part of their investigations.

Yesterday, the suspect was remanded for seven days.

Clad in orange police lockup uniform, he arrived at the Petaling Jaya Court Complex at around 11.20am and was escorted to the remand room with other detainees.

Shafwan Zaidon

PJ magistrate’s court registrar Siti Mazrah Mohamad later granted the police’s application to detain the suspect until Feb 12.

Mohd Zani said the suspect would be held at the Damansara lockup.

Meanwhile, colleagues of the suspect said he came off as a pious person.

Requesting anonymity, one of the guards manning Surian Condominium security told the Malay Mail that one of the things that stood out about the suspect was that he had the Tilak mark on his forehead every day, and by that, they assumed he was a holy and religious person.

Tharani was the youngest of three girls in her family.

Manimaran said her two elder sisters moved out after getting married and Tharani used to live alone with her parents in Bandar Baru Selayang.

As to whether her demeanour had changed recently, he said she had become more reserved and talked less at home in the last two months.

“She would come home from work, take her shower and enter her room. Her parents didn’t suspect anything wrong because they thought she was just too tired after work,” Manimaran was quoted saying.

When asked if her parents had planned for a marriage, he said no.

Tharani’s father M Devarajoo, 67, said the suspect was worse than an animal and did not deserve to be called a human being for what he had done.

Azinuddin Ghazali

According to Tharani’s sister, D Gunavathy, Tharani had made the decision to remain single ever since her father began to persuade her to find a partner when she was 27.

She also said Tharani had told her family she was facing problems at work about three weeks ago but did not disclose what they were.

She added that her sister had informed her colleague that she was going out with the suspect before she went out for lunch on Monday.

Gunavathy revealed that Tharani’s pet dogs were struggling to cope with her death and her favourite dog Daisy had refused to eat.

Picture courtesy of D Gunavathy

“She has four Cocker Spaniels named Daisy, Dixie, Deedo and Whitey, whom she loved dearly.

“Even though she worked six days a week, she still found the time to bathe, eat and spend time with her dogs,” Gunavathy, 39, was quoted saying.

Tharani would be cremated according to traditional Hindu rites in a temple in Sentul on Wednesday.


Earlier report: Feb 5, Man Drives to Police Station with Dead Girlfriend’s Body in Car