A 32-year-old Indian-origin woman dentist in Australia, who went missing under mysterious circumstances, has been murdered with her body bearing numerous stab wounds found dumped in a suitcase in Sydney, police said on Wednesday, March 6.
The man suspected of murdering the Sydney dentist Preethi Reddy, whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase in her car parked in an eastern Sydney street, New South Wales, is another Indian-origin dentist and her ex-boyfriend Harsh Narde.
Narde died in a fiery car crash on the New England Highway on Monday night, a day after his ex-girlfriend was reported missing, New South Wales Police (NSW) said.
The head-on collision, around 340 kilometres from where Reddy's body was found, is believed to have been deliberate, they said. The police said they spoke to Narde as part of the missing persons investigation, before his death. They said the investigation was still in its early stages.
"I cannot qualify exactly what has happened and I won't put it out there because if we're wrong and it's not substantiated then we're doing a disservice to Preethi and her family," Detective Superintendent Gavin Dengate told the ABC News.
"At this stage we know they met up in Sydney and now we're looking at all the movements between these two," the officer was quoted as saying.
Reddy's body which was stabbed numerous times was found in a car parked in Strachan Lane in Kingsford on Tuesday, days after she went missing from Sydney's busiest area under mysterious circumstances.
She was last seen waiting in line at McDonald's in George Street on Sunday, the police said.
She bought two bottles of water before leaving, walking south towards Market Street, where police said Reddy was staying at a hotel with a man known to her. Reddy was attending a dental conference in St Leonards at the weekend and last spoke to her family at around 11 AM on Sunday.
She told them that she would head home after breakfast, and when she failed to return, her family contacted police. The NSW Police described Reddy's disappearance as "out of character" and said there were serious concerns of her welfare.
Her work colleagues said they were "terrified" and had been unable to sleep since her disappearance.
"It's devastating, and this is completely out of character," dental assistant Chelsea Holmes of Glenbrook Dental Surgery was quoted as saying by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"We got a call on Monday asking if she had turned up to work and now we are just hoping and none of us have been able to sleep.
"I spoke to her last Thursday and it was 'see you next week' and completely normal," she said, adding "Now I am just praying she will be found," Holmes said.
The NSW police said they were appealing for information in relation to her whereabouts.