Indian food blogger accused of killing and dismembering his live in girlfriend was inspired by US TV show that features a serial killer
He confessed to ‘strangling his girlfriend, hacking her body into 35 pieces, stored in his fridge, then fed to stray dogs’ in India
He After his arrest on Nov 10, he admitted to cops that copied the TV show serial killer Dexter and wrapped her body parts in plastic
Aftab Ameen Poonawala, 28, murdered Shraddha Walkar, 27, on May 18, but kept it under wraps until Nov 10
He sustained the charade that she was still alive by maintaining contact with her friends on social media – chatting with her friends through her Instagram account
The smell of the corpse was masked by fresheners, agarbattis and incense sticks
Delhi police traced the location and arrested Aftab Poonawala on Saturday
An Indian food blogger in Delhi strangled his girlfriend to death and chopped her into pieces which he wrapped in plastic and stored in the fridge before feeding them to stray dogs, in an imitation of the TV show Dexter.
Police arrested Aftab Ameen Poonawala, 28, on Saturday for killing Shraddha Walkar, 27 inside their one apartment in the Chhatarpur Pahadi area of Mehrauli, Delhi. He is accused of strangling her after they got into an argument as she pushed for marriage after three years of a volatile relationship with a history of domestic abuse. The suspect told police he wanted to ‘keep her quiet’, instead strangled her. He kept the body for two days before acting on a disposal scheme.
Poonawala murdered Walkar on May 18, but managed to keep it under wraps until November 10. He sustained the charade that she was still alive by maintaining contact with her friends on social media. Poonawala would chat with Walkar’s friends through her Instagram account.
After admitting to the crime Poonawala told his police interviewers that he was inspired by Dexter, a TV show featuring a vigilante serial killer who wraps his victims’ bodies in plastic after murdering them.
‘He followed what the main character did to chop the body and discard it,’ said a source quoted in The Indian Express.
After he hacked her into 35 small parts, he kept the pieces in small black poly bags in a fridge which he bought after the murder almost three weeks, copying the character.
The smell of the carcass in their one bedroom apartment, was masked by air fresheners, agarbattis and incense sticks, which Poonawala bought to try and hide the stench of the rotting corpse.
Across multiple trips, he would wait until 2am to dispose of her body, slowly scattered the chopped-up body parts in the Mehrauli jungle in south Delhi.
Poonawala, who received training as a chef, found many ways to get rid of the body parts, including feeding some pieces to stray dogs.
‘We have been told that he removed the intestines first so that it could decompose easily,’ the source said.
The killer began communicating with Walkar’s friends through her Instagram account, so they would think she was still alive, according to The Times of India.
He then threw her phone away and disposed of her clothes into a rubbish van later on. He also searched the topic ‘How to clean blood stains from the floor’ on Google.
The two had met on a dating app three year earlier. Poonawala was back on the dating apps while pieces of Walkar’s body were still in the fridge.
Poonawala allegedly told the police he was inspired by the US television crime series Dexter. “He followed what the main character did to chop the body and discard it,” said the source.
According to police sources, Poonawala hacked Walkar’s body and kept the parts in small black poly bags. “He bought a new fridge and a saw. He used it to chop the body in pieces,” said a source.
He chopped her body into 35 pieces before them in his fridge. After he hacked her into small parts, the killer kept the dismembered body in black poly bags in a fridge for almost three weeks.
He fed some to stray dogs and apparently scattered the rest in the jungle
But by that time, Walkar’s family were asking after her. Friends said she had not responded to their messages in weeks, and they were considering going to the police.
‘She did not reply to any of my texts since August,’ said her friend Laxman Nadir, speaking to ANI. ‘Her phone was switched off. After inquiring about her with other friends, I informed her brother.’
Poonawala and Walkar had met three years prior, becoming romantically engaged before moving from Mumbai to Delhi.
She was a BMM student at the Viva Institute of Technology, but dropped out to work as a sales manager at a retail sports shop, before meeting Poonawala, who had a bachelor in management studies from Santacruz college.
Their parents didn’t accept their relationship adding to the history of intimate partner violence that had marked the relationship.Walkar’s father accused Poonawala of domestic abuse, alleging that his ‘daughter would call her mother and say that Aftab had beaten her up’.
Walkar had lost her mother in 2020, moving back in with family to mourn with her father and brother for two weeks before returning home. However, after the couple moved back in together, Walkar started putting pressure on Poonawala to marry her, according to a police official.
He had originally promised to marry her but later backtracked, leading to the confrontation.
‘The two quarreled frequently and it used to get out of control. On 18 May, the man lost his temper and strangled her,’ said the official, speaking with the news outlet ANI.
Walkar’s father drove up to visit his daughter in May, but noticed the apartment was locked when he arrived. When he couldn’t locate his daughter, he filed a missing person report in Mumbai.
After police traced her location to Delhi, the case was transferred to the case to the Indian capital’s police force. After Poonawala was finally arrested him on Saturday, he confessed to the killing.
Local media covered the spectacle of police taking the suspect into the Mehrauli jungle to point to the place where he allegedly scattered some of the body parts. Thereafter he cops led taken him back to his home to recreate the crime scene.
Police also recovered some body parts from Poonawala’s rented apartment, BBC Hindi reported.
However, neither the murder weapon nor the body have yet been fully recovered.
The victim’s family has demanded a death penalty for the killer.