Even as cyber crime experts shortlisted about 150 suspicious mobile phone numbers that were active in the towers covering Nungambakkam railway station premises where techie S. Swathi was hacked to death on Friday, a couple of her friends told investigators that the victim was aware that she was being stalked by the suspect who finally killed her.
Though police have so far got no clue of the assailant, they are putting together a few inputs that could possibly establish the motive of the murder. Swathi knew that the suspect was stalking her on suburban trains to her work place. Days ahead of her murder, Swathi’s friend claimed to have seen the suspect following the victim at Paranur railway station, police sources said.
“Swathi was aware of the stalker but probably decided to ignore him and took no precautions. Since she informed her friends about the suspect, it is possible that she might have alerted her family as well. We are not sure whether the suspect stalked her to say something or it was a dry run to commit the offence,” a senior police officer said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, an engineer who was a friend of Swathi was examined on Wednesday. He reportedly told investigators that he met her at a course in Anna University a couple of years ago and was in touch for sometime. “He has shared some details about his friendship with Swathi. We are in the process of examining a few others. A clear picture has not emerged yet why someone would go the extent of killing her,” the officer said.
Asked how far the police could track the suspect fleeing from the scene of crime on Friday, another officer who is part of the investigation team said he rushed towards Choolaimedu High Road and there was no trace of him after that. “We have analysed footage as recorded at Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore and Koyambedu bus terminus on Friday to check whether he took a train or bus. Nothing much has come out of it yet.”
Dismissing reports that the suspect was chased by a man at Nungambakkam railway station soon after he killed Swathi, the officer said nobody made an attempt to chase or track his movements. “It is intriguing that even after five days nobody has made a call yet identifying the suspect. Maybe he has remained disconnected from social life or belongs to some other State,” he said.
A senior police officer released the enhanced picture of the man who is suspected to have murdered Swathi at the Nungambakkam station last Friday. “We have sent it to a lab in Hyderabad again for improving the quality.”