Pictured; 10-month-old Saanvi Venna was kidnapped sometime between Monday morning threw Monday Aftersoon and her Grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, who was babysitting at the time, was found murdered. An Amber Alert was immediately issued and Saanvi is still missing 3-days later.
Latest Update: 10/26/12 — Police Find Saanvi Venna In A Bloody White Dress, Family Friend Arrested:
BRIDGEPORT, Pa. (AP) — A family friend charged with killing a baby girl and her grandmother told police he dropped the baby as he wielded a knife and the grandmother charged at him during a botched kidnapping, authorities said Friday.
Raghunandan “Raghu” Yandamuri, a native of India, targeted the family for a $50,000 ransom because he knew both parents worked, and he left copies of a ransom note, according to a police affidavit filed in a Philadelphia suburb.
Photo of abductor and murderer, Raghunandan “Raghu” Yandamuri
“It’s up to you to decide, do you want your 1-year-old or five months of your income?” the lengthy note said.
Ten copies of the note were left at the family’s King of Prussia apartment, but no one ever contacted the baby’s parents, both software engineers, after the grandmother was found dead Monday and the baby went missing.
Authorities instead found the body of 10-month-old Saanvi Venna in a bloody white dress early Friday beneath a bench in a basement fitness room at the sprawling apartment complex where Yandamuri and the victims lived.
The 26-year-old Yandamuri, interviewed Thursday as police canvassed the family’s friends, had told officers where to find the body, District Attorney Risa Ferman said.
Investigators had hoped to find Saanvi alive even as the week wore on. But she may have been dead before she left the apartment, Ferman said. Yandamuri told police that he put a handkerchief in her mouth to quiet her, tied a towel around her head and put her in a suitcase before he left, according to the affidavit.
Yandamuri was being held without bail on two counts of murder, kidnapping, robbery and other charges pending a preliminary hearing next week. He does not have a lawyer and did not enter a plea at a brief arraignment Friday afternoon. He told a judge he is not a U.S. citizen and was given time to make a private call to the Indian consulate.
The baby’s father, Venkata Konda Siva Venna, and mother, Chenchu Latha Punuru, moved to the United States from India in February 2007 and moved into the apartment in June. The ransom note referred to them by family nicknames, leading police to hone in on friends and acquaintances.
The paternal grandmother, 61-year-old Satyavathi Venna, arrived from India in July and was scheduled to return home in January.
She opened the door to Yandamuri on Monday morning to see he was armed with a kitchen knife, authorities said. She retreated to the kitchen, while he picked up the baby from the couch, the affidavit said.
Yandamuri told police he dropped the baby and the grandmother came toward him and walked into the knife, leaving a deep gash in her throat, the affidavit said.
Yandamuri, who lived in a different building than the parents, told police that he had printed nearly 200 missing-child posters at work, distributed them and attended a vigil for the baby. But he later detailed the botched crime to police and said he had stolen jewelry, some of which he threw in the nearby Schuylkill River, the affidavit said.
A throng of people jeered at him, shouting “Hang him!” and other taunts, as he was led into court Friday in a bulletproof vest.
“We had been hopeful that Saanvi was still alive,” said Ferman, the prosecutor. “Tragically, that is not the case.”
Update 10/26/12 — PENNSYLVANIA; Body Of Kidnapped Baby Found, Man Arrested:
Police in Pennsylvania have arrested a suspect in the kidnapping and killing of a 10-month old girl and the slaying of her grandmother who was taking care of her in a Philadelphia suburb. According to the affadavit for his arrest, Raghunandan Yandamuri, after telling police he committed the crime, asked police to say his wife turned him so she could claim a cash reward being offered for the child’s return.
Pictured; Raghunandan Yandamuri
The body of the baby, Saanvi Venna, was discovered overnight, police said Friday. Her grandmother Satyavathi Venna, 61, was found slain on Monday in the family’s apartment in King of Prussia, about 15 miles north of Philadelphia and it was then that the baby was discovered missing.
Yandamuri, 26, an acquaintance of the family who lives in the same apartment complex, faces charges of first and second degree murder, kidnapping and burglary in what police say appears to have been a kidnapping for ransom that went awry.
Near the body of the grandmother, who died from stab wounds to her neck and chest, investigators found a ransom note demanding $50,000 for the return of Saavni, investigators revealed on Friday.
“If you want your daughter alive and safe, follow our instructions carefully,” said the message, which is attached as an exhibit to the criminal complaint provided by police. It called for the baby’s mother to deliver the $50,000 by 8 p.m. the same day, and warned, “Any cunning act from anyone of you will lead to your daughter’s death.”
Investigators issued an Amber Alert just before 5 p.m. Monday after the child’s father and slain victim’s son, Venkata Konda Siva Venna, found the woman’s body and realized his daughter was missing.
Police say Venna left work to check on the pair after receiving a call from a worried relative who was unable to reach them.
The baby’s mother, Chenchu Latha Punuru, was at work when Venna was killed and the child was taken, police said.
Saanvi Venna, 10 months old, in an undated photo provided by police. Police issued an Amber Alert for her on Monday after her grandmother, who had been babysitting, was found slain and the baby missing.
In the ransom note, the writer used the nicknames “Shiva” and “Lata” for Saanvi’s parents, which were known only to a handful of people, all of whom were in the community of Asian Indian Americans, according to an affidavit for Yandamuri’s arrest.
One of the people who knew those names was Yandamuri, who first told detectives he had no idea who had killed Satyavathi or taken Saanvi. He had attended a vigil held for the child and helped create and distribute missing child posters of the girl, it said.
Later in the interview on Thursday, Yandamuri said he was responsible for both deaths. He said he targeted the family because he believed they had money, and said his intention was to hide the child until the ransom was paid, the affidavit said.
According to the document, he told police he had stabbed the grandmother with a kitchen knife in a tussle for the child, stuffed a handkerchief into the child’s mouth to stop her from crying, and then put her in a blue suitcase, which he later abandoned in a sauna at the apartment complex gym.
Following Yandamuri’s description, investigators went to the sauna, the affidavit said.
“Hidden inside a dark wooden sauna under a deep bench, they found the lifeless body of Saanvi Venna. There was apparent blood on her white dress.”
The grandmother had been visiting from India since July, authorities said, and was planning to return in January.
A reward for information leading to the safe return of the child had jumped from $30,000 to $50,000 on Thursday.
Source of above article: US.NEWS.NBCNEWS
Update: 10/25/12 PENNSYLVANIA — Reward Money Increased For Baby Abducted After Grandmother Found Murdered:
The reward for information leading to the safe return of 10-month-old Saanvi Venna increased on Thursday from $30,000 to $50,000.
Officials say since a reward was announced by Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman on Wednesday, tips have been pouring in, but none have led to Saanvi. The infant was abducted from an Upper Merion apartment building on Monday.
– Reward Poster
Venna’s grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, 61, who was babysitting the infant was murdered inside the family’s home at the Marquis Apartment complex on the 200 block of West Dekalb Pike.
Three K-9 units were searching the area between the apartment building and the Pennsylvania Turnpike on Wednesday.
– News Release
– The Search for Saanvi
Investigators issued an Amber Alert just before 5 p.m. on Monday after the child’s father and the murder victim’s son, Venkata Konda Siva Venna, found the woman’s body and realized his daughter was missing.
Police say Venna left work to check on the pair after receiving a call from a worried relative who was unable to reach them.
Credit: Family Photo
Police described Venna as an Asian-Indian female, standing 2-foot-6 and weighing 21 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a white dress with pink flowers and wearing unknown jewelry.
On Tuesday, investigators canvassed the apartment complex and drained the swimming pool in search of clues.
“Please don’t do any harm to the kid,” said Vasu Velaga, a neighbor of the family. “Please release her immediately. Please inform the police.”
The infant’s father spoke Monday night during a press conference.
“If someone finds my baby could you please bring my baby back?” Venna pleaded. “Don’t do any harm to my baby.”
Family members speaking on behalf of Saanvi’s parents pleaded for her return as they gathered at the Upper Merion Township Police Department on Tuesday.
“Bring the girl back to the parents,” said Ram Venna, 36, the girl’s uncle, who had flown in from his home in San Jose, Calif.
“We are pleading for everyone’s help in finding my 10-month-old niece. Please call the police if you have any information that can help locate Saanvi. All of the family is grieving my mother’s tragic death and praying for the safe return of my niece Saanvi,” said Rem Venna.
Madhukar Sanikommu, 42, of Warren, N.J., a cousin of Saanvi’s father, said the family was trying to hold onto hope that the girl would be found.
“We’re all devastated right now,” Sanikommu said.
Police say Satyavathi Venna arrived in the United States from India in July 2012 and was planning to return home in January 2013.
The child’s mother, Chenchu Latha Punuru, was at work when Venna was murdered and the child was taken, according to police.
The Citizen’s Crime Commission of Delaware Valley will be administering the reward posted by Upper Merion Township Police, The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and the Teluga Association of North America.
If you have a sighting please call 911 or if you have any information on the abduction, please call 215-546-TIPS.
Source of above article: Msnbc.Msn.Com
Update: 10/24/12 King of Prussia, PENNSYLVANIA — Father Speak’s Out As FBI Join Desperate Search For Kidnapped Baby Who’s Grandmother Was Found Murdered:
Shiva Venna left work Monday afternoon to check in on his 10-month-old daughter, Saanvi, who was in the care of his mother. He arrived at his Upper Merion apartment to find his mother murdered, and his baby girl missing.
Local, state, and federal authorities are now working together to find the missing child, who was allegedly abducted between 8 am and 1 pm. Investigators identified the child’s dead grandmother as Satyavathi Venna, who was visiting her son and his family from India.
Venna returned home from work to check on the pair when a neighbor called, concerned that they were unable to get a hold of 61-year-old Satyavathi and the child. The infant, Saanvi Venna, was abducted from the Marquis Apartment complex in King Prussia. Friends of the family stated that Shiva Venna, the child’s father, called police after he discovered his mother dead and his daughter missing. The baby’s mother, Chenchu Latha Punuru, was at work when the homicide and abduction were discovered. Investigators issued an Amber Alert for the baby girl just before 5 pm.
USA Today reports that Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said “investigators are focusing all their resources on reuniting Saavni Venna with her parents,” adding that the grandmother’s murder and the child’s abduction are “intricately connected.” To that end, investigators have not released information regarding how the girl’s grandmother was killed or if there are currently any suspects in the case.
“All of our resources are focused on finding Saavni and reuniting her with her parents,” Ferman asserted. “The search for the child is intricately connected to the homicide investigation.”
On Tuesday, investigators searched the apartment complex, even draining the pool in search of clues. A neighbor of the family, Vasu Velaga, pleaded, “Please don’t do any harm to the kid. Please release her immediately. Please inform the police.”
A press conference was held Monday night to get word out about the missing child. Saavni’s father spoke: “If someone finds my baby could you please
bring my baby back?” The child’s father pleaded. “Don’t do any harm to my baby.”
Madhukar Sanikommu, 42, a cousin of Saanvi’s father, said the family was trying to hold onto hope that the girl would be found, adding “We’re all devastated right now.”
Saavni is reportedly Asian-India, who is 2’6″ tall and weighs 21 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a white dress with pink flowers. She was also wearing jewelry.
If you see any sightings of Saanvi Venna you are asked to call 911 immediately.
Source of above article: Inquisitr
10/23/12 UPPER MERION, Pennsylvania — Desperate Search For Kidnapped Baby After Grandmother Was Found Murdered:
The desperate search for the 10 month old baby abducted from her King of Prussia apartment enters its second day with no sign of Saanvi Venna.
Police are also searching for her grandmother’s killer. 61-year-old Satyavathi Venna was babysitting at the time when someone killed her and took the infant girl.
Photo of Satyavathi Venna holding Saanvi Venna when she was a newborn. She was murdered while babysitting Saanvi Venna and the killer took the baby. Police have no information on suspects vehicle, etc and is asking the public to be alert and if you spot the child, call 911 immediately.
Authorities with Montgomery County District Attorney’s office, Upper Merion Township Police along with the FBI are not saying much about the investigation while residents at the apartment complex where the crimes happened are wondering if they are safe.
Detectives hauled out bags of evidence from the police station while family members have been arriving from around the country to help in the search.
“I’m pleading with everyone to help find my 10 month old niece please call police so we can help find little Saanvi” said Ram Venna, the girl’s uncle.
Investigators spent the day at The Marquis Apartments on DeKalb Pike. The complex pools had been drained and flyers were being distributed to residents.
“I don’t want to let my kids out of my sight. Even if you take out the trash I’m scared to be by myself” said resident Joy Silver.
Several residents tell us security here has been a concern for years.
“It wasn’t that good when I was living here around one year back. You say you were robbed. Yes. I was robbed at gunpoint” said Tom Paulic who tells us he moved out because of safety concerns.
“It’s very nervous actually, it’s a bit scary”
Arumugam Margasagaiam who lives at Marquis Apartments says he’s not going back to work until police find the killer. He says frustration is growing among residents because of the lack of information.
“I have been searching the news channels since morning but It’s the same news. Since yesterday. It’s been the same news” said Margasagaiam.
Police are not releasing some of the details of the investigation out of fear for the little girl’s safety. They have not said how the grandmother died or if they are targeting a suspect.
Saanvi is described as 10 month old, Asian-Indian, 2’6 inches tall, 21 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a white shirt with pink flowers.
If you have any information regarding this case or think you have a sighting of this child you are asked to immediately contact police by dialing 911.
10/22/12 UPPER MERION, Pa. – AMBER ALERT FOR KIDNAPPED BABY
10/22/12 – Pennsylvania State Police have issued an Amber Alert for a missing 10-month old who was reported abducted during a homicide:
On Monday night, Upper Merion Police identified the victim in the homicide as the grandmother of the missing 10-month-old.
The Upper Merion Township Police Department is searching for the 10-month-old girl, Saavni Venna, who was last seen at the Marquis Apartments on the 200 block of West Dekalb Pike in King of Prussia.
The 10-month-old, is described as an Asian-Indian female who weighs 21 pounds. She was last seen wearing a white dress with pink flowers, black hair and brown eyes.
The suspect and any vehicle information are not yet known.
If you have any information, you’re asked to call 9-1-1.