The Texan mother accused of murdering her 10-year-old son and then keeping his body preserved on ice in a bath for 5 days has said she did not kill him and was complying with Hindu rituals.
The family of Pallavi Dhawanwas have released an affidavit which states she loved her son Arnav ‘with all my heart and never would hurt him in any way.’
Dhawanwas was arrested and charged with murder in January after police were called to the family home in Frisco on her husband’s return from overseas business and discovered the body of Arnav lying in a bathtub, surrounded by ice and covered with a sheet.
‘I want to make it perfectly clear to the world that: I did not hurt Arnav. I did not kill Arnav. I did not murder Arnav. I did not drown or smother Arnav. I did not poison Arnav,’ the affidavit states according to NBCDFW.
‘I did not fail to render aid to Arnav at any time.’
Police charged Pallavi in late January when her husband phoned police after becoming worried that his wife was not at home to greet him on his return from business after three weeks out of the country.
He had also received emails from his sons school stating he had not attended classes for several days. In their report, officers said they arrived and witnessed Pallavi have a heated conversation with her husband when she came home.
Sumeet then became furious and called officers to a locked bathroom door – which they broke down.Officers found the boy’s body in the tub at his home, wrapped in cloth up to his neck surrounded by ice.
Officers asked Mrs. Dhawan if the child was in the room, and she nodded her head `yes.’ Officers asked her if she killed the child, and Mrs. Dhawan nodded her head `yes,’ said police Sgt. Brad Merritt in January. Despite these statements from the police, Pallavi has denied admitting to killing the child.
In her affidavit, she said that her son, Arnav, had been diagnosed with microcephaly and had special needs and she found the boy ‘cold,’ ‘stiff,’ and ‘completely unresponsive’ in his bed after trying to wake him up for school. She attempted CPR, but this was to no avail.
According to the affidavit, Pallavi then said she kept her son’s body on ice for ‘four or five’ days using ice cubes from the refrigerator.She said this was to follow Hindu rituals for dead children – and that she read the scriptures over his body and was waiting for her husband to return home to properly lay her son to rest.
‘Being in the state of shock with such a sudden demise of Arnav, I continued to try and follow the Hindu customs to the best of my knowledge as exhibited by the father’s Sumeet Dhawan family in the past, including preserving the body on ice,’ she said in the affidavit.
In March, Sumeet said that the charges are a result of a cultural misunderstanding.The Dhawan family is Hindu and after death bodies are preserved on ice while waiting for family to pay respects and for last rites to be issued.
‘Nothing is going to get our son back and I hope that what has happened to us doesn’t happen to anybody and cultural differences played a big part in this,’ said Sumeet Dhawan.The Collin County medical examiner ruled the boy’s cause of death as ‘undetermined,’ but ‘natural disease is most likely.’