A woman in India, who was believed to have been “murdered” by her husband and his friend, was found six years later living with her second husband.
Aarti Devi, 26, from Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, was found alive in the Dausa district of Rajasthan, The Times of India reported.
After being charged with the woman’s murder, Devi’s husband Sonu Saini, now 32, spent 18 months in prison, while his friend Gopal Saini, 30, was in jail for nine months. The two men, who are residents of Dausa and used to work at a local eatery, were later released on bail.
The two were booked for murder on March 13, 2016, after the woman’s father filed a complaint with Vrindavan police.
According to police records obtained by the outlet, Devi purportedly disappeared from her rented home in Vrindavan in 2015.
Her father then claimed an unidentified woman’s body as his missing daughter, which landed the suspects in prison.
The police officers who investigated the case were rewarded with Rs 15,000 ($181) for arresting the two men, Latestly reported.
“Sonu Saini met Aarti Devi when she had visited Mehandipur Balaji temple, situated on the border of Karauli and Dausa districts of Rajasthan, along with her father Suraj Prakash Gupta. Later they had a court marriage on Sept. 8, 2015, without informing her father who lodged a complaint for the recovery of his daughter,” said the officer-in-charge of the Mathura SWAT team and cyber cell, Ajay Kaushal, who is privy to the case, according to the Times of India.
The murder charge was added to the first information report (FIR) in March 2016 against the three named accused, and Sonu and Gopal were arrested. The two were later granted bail by the Allahabad high court, Kaushal added.
Six years after their arrest, Sonu and Gopal managed to track down the “dead woman” and informed Mathura police of their discovery earlier this month.
Police confirmed Sunday that the woman had been detained and that she will be produced before the court on Monday.
The woman was found with two Aadhaar cards, with “two different dates of birth,” police claimed.
A senior police officer of the Dausa district, also privy to the case, said, “Sonu was aware that Aarti had run away from her home without informing her parents to marry him. He didn’t file a complaint regarding his missing wife later on as he was afraid that cops might trouble him.”
“The suspects were wrongly charge-sheeted for a crime they never committed,” the officer added. “After getting bail, the duo worked as laborers and kept looking for Aarti. Following a local tip-off, they sent a man posing as a Swachh Bharat Mission worker to meet Aarti, and the missing woman was finally discovered.”