Death of Indian-American couple ruled suicide, murder

Washington, Oct 9 (IANS): The mysterious death of an Indian-American couple has been ruled as a suicide and a murder a month after the couple were found dead in their Texas home, according to a media report.

While the death of Pallavi Dhawan, charged with murder of her 10-year-old son in January, has been ruled a suicide, her husband Sumeet Dhawan's death has been ruled a homicide, NBC 5 reported citing Frisco Police Department.

A note found at the Dhawans' home is still being analyzed, Frisco police said Wednesday.

Police refused to characterize the case as a murder-suicide and said their investigation was ongoing.

Pallavi Dhawan died from a combination of drowning and toxicity from the common antihistamine diphenhydramine (allergy drugs), police said citing an autopsy report received Wednesday from the Collin County medical examiner.

Her husband Sumeet Dhawan died from a combination of blunt force head injuries and toxicity from diphenhydramine and salicylate toxicity, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory found in many over-the-counter medications, the report said.

A woman's body was found in or near the pool in the backyard of the Frisco home of the Dhawan family, and a man's body was found inside the house, NBC 5 said citing police.

Pallavi Dhawan had been charged in January with the murder of her son with special needs, Arnav Dhawan, after police found his body in a bathtub in the home, surrounded by bags of melting ice.

Pallavi consistently maintained her innocence. The Dhawans said the boy, who had several underlying medical conditions, had died of natural causes, and Pallavi was preserving her son's corpse until Sumeet returned home from a business trip.

In their culture, the family said, the father must deliver a final blessing.

The Dhawans' attorney David Finn was quoted as saying Arnav had several underlying medical conditions, including a cyst in his brain and a condition that causes a person to develop an undersized head and that can shorten life expectancy.

The medical examiner said the boy's cause of death was undetermined, with natural disease being the most likely factor.

The Frisco Police Department, however, continued to pursue a homicide investigation against Pallavi Dhawan.



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