In New Jersey, guns are outlawed sufficiently that cops run out of state license plates and make pretextual stops on any traveler who comes up with an LTC from his home state. But those same cops can’t be bothered to get control of the gangs in Newark and Camden. Yet, despite the focus on gun-owning transients, New Jerseyites keep getting dead anyway. Funny how that happens.
The man who found his wife and 6-year-old son stabbed to death in their Maple Shade apartment said that the bodies were in a bed and that he had “no idea” what had happened to them, according to a recording of the call released Monday by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.
“They both have blood everywhere,” Hanumantha Rao Narra told a dispatcher, saying he had just come home from work.
A dispatcher, recounting what Narra had described, then transferred the call to another dispatcher and explained, “There’s no weapons, there’s nothing. But he’s saying that they’re not breathing and there’s blood everywhere, and he doesn’t know what happened to them.”
This is a very, very strange case, for reasons we’ll elaborate on in a minute.
The second dispatcher asked Narra about his wife’s and son’s conditions.
“I feel like they both are dead,” Narra told the dispatcher, who then asked whether Narra could do CPR.
“No, you can’t! Their throat is slit,” a woman in the background yelled. Narra had told dispatchers a neighbor was with him.
Another strange detail. Who comes home with a neighbor?
Sasikala Narra, 38, and son Anish, 6, had been stabbed multiple times in the unit in the Fox Meadow Apartments just off Route 73, where police responded around 9 p.m. March 23. Family friends said they had stab wounds to their faces and hands.
No arrests have been made.
Normally in a case like this, the husband would be the first person of interest. First, sad to say, that’s who’s usually to blame in the murder of a woman and child. Second, a stabbing — a killing with a personal, up-close weapon — is much more often a personal crime by someone who knew and loved/hated the victim, than it is a stranger crime.
Hanumantha Narra had just returned home from a work happy-hour party and was in “shell shock” when he discovered the bodies, according to an interview he gave on a YouTube channel. It was posted a day after the murders.
That Mr Narra is not in custody, and that he had no problem getting permission to take the victims back to their native India, suggests that police have completely ruled him out as a suspect in the homicide. There may be strong evidence he didn’t do it (his alibi is solid, he wasn’t bloody, etc.), but it’s possible he’s still a suspect, just suspected of having the crime done indirectly. Still, a killer not personally connected to the crime and not personally motivated seems an unlikely candidate for a brutal slashing like this.
Then again, trying to form an understanding of criminals in a non-criminal mind is a quest that’s probably doomed to failure. But it’s quite possible that Hanumantha Narra, too, is a victim in this barbarous crime. We forget, sometimes, that along with “the” victim — “the complainant,” as some agencies term a murder victim, as if he or she showed up at Homicide grousing and demanding justice — a whole family, great or small, are victims in every homicide. May God (or gods, assuming they’re Hindu) grant them mercy and peace.