Police said Seth continues to deny that she committed the murder, claiming she did not know who killed her son. They have recorded statements of 15 people so far and attached key pieces of evidence, including a pillow, her suitcase, and bloodstained towel and cutlery from the service apartment in Goa where she was staying.
Here are the 10 important pieces of information regarding the Suchana Seth case:
CEO of Bengaluru startup ‘murders’ 4-year-old son in Goa hotel
A 39-year-old CEO of a Bengaluru-based AI startup was arrested on Monday night for allegedly murdering her four-year-old son at a service apartment in Goa.
Seth arrested while fleeing to Karnataka with body stuffed in bag
Seth was ultimately caught from Karnataka’s Chitradurga district while trying to flee in a cab with her son’s body stuffed in a bag. How was the police able to catch her? It all began with the hotel staff alerting the cops of bloodstains on the floor of her apartment. The police then coordinated with the driver of her taxi, who managed to get her to the police station without arousing suspicion.
Driver who ferried Suchana Seth shares trip details
Conversing with Goa police in Konkani, a four-hour traffic jam on the way to Bengaluru, and the excuse of a quick washroom break – the cab driver who was ferrying Suchana Seth to her destination has told The Indian Express how he managed to take her to the police station without arousing suspicion.
Royjohn D’Souza, a cab driver from North Goa’s Anjuna, was instrumental in her arrest. Speaking to The Indian Express, he said that around 11 pm on January 7, he got a call from the reception of Hotel Sol Banyan Grande in Candolim, asking him to ferry Seth “urgently” to Bengaluru.
He was told to reach the hotel at 12.30 am, and a fare of Rs 30,000 was agreed upon.
He got a call from a Calangute police inspector around 11 am. “The police inspector asked me if the passenger I was ferrying was alone or if a child was with her,” D’Souza said. The police inspector called the driver a few minutes later, this time directing him to “immediately drive to the nearest police station”.
Suchana Seth’s questioning, son’s post-mortem reveal he was ‘smothered 36 hours earlier’
The police questioning of Suchana Seth and the child’s post-mortem has revealed that the boy was “smothered”, and that the crime took place at least 36 hours earlier.
In Karnataka, Dr Kumar Naik, a government doctor who conducted the post-mortem, said, “The child was killed more than 36 hours earlier. He has been smothered or strangulated. There are no wounds or signs of struggle. There may be the use of a pillow or a wire.”
He said that the body did not show signs of rigor mortis – stiffening of the limbs of the corpse caused by chemical changes in the muscles – indicating that the alleged murder took place at least 36 hours earlier.
Goa police probing if Suchana Seth ‘gave cough syrup to son before smothering him’
Two days after Seth was arrested investigators said they are examining the possibility of the accused administering a “heavy dosage” of cough syrup to the child before allegedly “smothering” him.
Police sources said two empty bottles of cough syrup were recovered from the service apartment at Hotel Sol Banyan Grande in North Goa’s Candolim.
Bengaluru CEO Suchana Seth’s husband performs final rites of murdered son
Days after the four-year-old boy was allegedly murdered by his mother, his father performed his last rites in Bengaluru on Wednesday morning.
After the post-mortem examination of his son’s body in Hiriyur in the Chitradurga district, Venkatraman P R, the father of the child, brought it to Bengaluru. The body was kept in an apartment in Rajajinagar where Venkatraman’s parents live.
Seth ‘had booked hotel room for longer’, ‘texted husband day before son’s murder’
Seth had booked the room from January 6 to January 10, but checked out earlier, police have told The Indian Express.
According to police, at 9.10 pm on January 7, Seth informed the staff of the service apartments at Hotel Sol Banyan Grande in North Goa’s Candolim that she wanted to check-out since she had “urgent work in Bengaluru” and requested them to arrange a taxi. She left at 12.30 am, the FIR states.
Police sources also said Seth had sent a message to her estranged husband on Saturday (January 6), saying he could come and meet their son on Sunday in Bengaluru, as mandated by a recent court order – the two are embroiled in divorce and custody proceedings.
Police recovers a note ‘written by Suchana Seth’ on a crumpled tissue paper
Three days after Seth was arrested investigators said they have recovered a handwritten “note” on a piece of tissue paper purportedly written by her.
Police sources said the “cryptic” note alluded to the fact that Seth (39) did not want the custody of her son to go to her husband.
Police said the purported note, in English, was written on a piece of tissue paper using an eyeliner. “The note is a crucial piece of evidence and it could help ascertain her state of mind and motivations,” said a police officer involved in the investigation.
The tissue paper was crumpled and an attempt had been made to tear bits of it, police sources said.
“At least five lines had been scribbled on it, and it alludes to the custody battle. The note was discovered by a forensic team during inspection at Aimangala police station in Karnataka. We have taken a sample of her handwriting and sent it for forensic examination. The exact contents of the note cannot be revealed at this stage as it will hamper the investigation,” said a police officer.
What Suchana Seth’s LinkedIn profile says
According to her LinkedIn profile, Suchana is an AI ethics expert and data scientist with over 12 years of experience in mentoring data science teams and scaling machine learning solutions at startups. She is the founder of The Mindful AI Lab, a technical consultancy. According to the official website, company provides customised AI ethics advisory services. It also offers to audit AI systems and data practices and co-create responsible AI roadmaps for organisations at all stages of data maturity.
The profile also states that Seth was a research fellow in Raman Research Institute between 2008-2011, when she reportedly met her husband. However, a source from the institute said that she dropped out in 2010.
Seth is also one of the directors in Saatvik Machine Intelligence Technologies Private Limited, police have found. The firm was registered in September 2020 and continues to be active.
Bengaluru CEO was in custody battle for 4-year-old, had filed domestic violence case
Suchana Seth had filed a domestic violence case on August 8, 2022, against her husband Venkataraman P R. Her husband, however, had denied the allegations in court.
The domestic violence case is reported to have been filed in the course of divorce proceedings and a custody battle for their son. A family court in Bengaluru had issued a restraining order against the husband on August 18, 2022. The court had initially barred Venkataraman from entering the residence of Suchana and from communicating either by phone or any other media with her son.
The case is still underway and at the last hearing on December 12, 2023, the father of the child had reported the payment of Rs 20,000 as maintenance to the mother and the court had adjourned the matter to January 29, 2024.