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Bengaluru: Start-Up CEO Kills 4-Yr-Old Son In Goa To 'Stop Estranged Husband From Visiting Him'

The crime was unravelled after a member of the housekeeping staff found a bloodstain while cleaning the apartment where the woman stayed in Goa

The accused, Suchana Seth, is the co-founder of artificial intelligence start-up Mindful AI Labs.
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A 39-year-old woman, CEO of a start-up in Bengaluru, was on Monday booked for murdering her four-year-old son in a resort-apartment in North Goa's Candolim. The woman, after killing her son, reportedly hired a taxi to travel back to Karnataka with the child's body in a bag.

A Goa court on Tuesday ordered a six-day police custody for the woman.

The accused, Suchana Seth, is the co-founder of artificial intelligence start-up Mindful AI Labs. While reports said Suchana murdered her son to stop her separated husband from meeting him, police said the motive behind the murder would be established only after her interrogation.

Suchana Seth gave a Bengaluru address while checking into room 404 at Candolim’s Hotel Sol Banyan Grande on Saturday, a TOI report quoted inspector Paresh Naik of Calangute police as saying.

The hotel staff told police that Suchana wanted a taxi to return to Bengaluru, but they advised that flying back would be cheaper and more convenient. She, however, insisted on travelling by road, the report mentioned, adding that the hotel then arranged a local taxi.

The crime was unravelled after a member of the housekeeping staff found a bloodstain while cleaning the apartment after Suchana Seth checked out on Monday morning.

How Suchana Seth Was Caught

Based on an alert from the Goa Police, Suchana was detained at Aimangala police station in Karnataka's Chitradurga district. A police team from Calangute left for Karnataka late on Monday to take custody of Suchana and bring her to Goa on transit remand, the report said.

North Goa SP Nidhin Valsan said that on being informed about the bloodstain around 11 am on Monday, a police team reached the hotel and scanned the CCTV footage, in which Suchana could be seen leaving the service apartment without her son.

Inspector Naik said he called the taxi driver and asked him to give the phone to Suchana. On being asked about her son, Suchana said she left him at a friend’s house in Fatorda. Suchana was then asked to give the friend’s address, which turned out to be fake. "The accused told us that the blood stains were due to her monthly periods. She also told us that her son was with her friend in Margao town [in South Goa] and provided the address," the official said.

Naik then called the taxi driver again and asked him to go to a nearby police station without Suchana suspecting anything. By this time the taxi had entered Chitradurga district.

The driver then reportedly went to the Aimangala police station where police checked the car and found the body of the child in a bag with Suchana.

AI Ethics Expert, Data Scientist | Who Is Suchana Seth 

Suchana Seth's LinkedIn profile describes her as an "AI ethics expert and data scientist with over 12 years of experience in mentoring data science teams, and scaling machine learning solutions at start-ups and industry research labs."

"She is on the 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics List. She has been a Mozilla Fellow at Data & Society, a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Centre at Harvard University, and a research fellow at the Raman Research Institute. She also holds patents in natural language processing," her LinkedIn bio says.

Shocking Details On Motive Of Murder

According to details in an indiatoday.in report, Suchana Seth and her husband had filed for divorce, proceedings for which were nearly finished. The report, quoting sources, said Suchana was unhappy with a court order that allowed her estranged husband to meet their son every Sunday.

Consequently, she planned to end her son's life before her husband's scheduled visit, the report said.

Police said that the husband was in Indonesia's Jakarta when the crime was committed. 

"Prima facie, during our initial inquiry, the lady mentioned that she had a troubled relationship with her husband and their divorce process was nearly finalised. There was also a court order causing distress to her. Interrogation is ongoing, and we are required to present her before the court. The motive is yet to be confirmed; this is what she conveyed to our investigators. We need to review the court order before making further statements," the indiatoday.in report quoted Nidhin Valson, North Goa's Superintendent of Police, as saying.

What Police Said

Goa Superintendent of Police (North), Nidhin Valsan, said that a team of Goa police, which is investigating the case, is currently in Chitradurga district in Karnataka. The accused has been formally placed under arrest and is being brought to Goa. She will be here by this afternoon, Valsan said.

The SP said that the motive behind the murder would be established only after her interrogation, adding that "What she has told us till now is that she and her husband were estranged and that they are currently undergoing divorce proceedings."

The accused woman hails from West Bengal and has been living in Bengaluru, while her husband is from Kerala, the official said. Her estranged husband is currently in Jakarta (Indonesia) and he has been informed about the incident, Valsan said. 

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According to the SP, the accused woman had stuffed the child's body in her "luggage". 

The accused has been booked by the Calangute police under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 302 (murder) and 201 (destruction of evidence), and also under the Goa Children's Act, he said. 

(with PTI inputs)

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