This is a terrible crime and despicable murder of a women walking home from work. WE must find her killer, we all have family and friends who walk some part of their way home every night. The police need help, hopefully releasing this video and images will help jog peoples memories of that night.
March 09, 2015 4:44PM
Detectives are hoping the chilling vision will jog the memory of a witness who may have seen Mrs Kumar as she walked home after work.
“We’re releasing (the CCTV tapes) in an effort to jog people’s memories – someone who may have seen Prabha, somebody who may know Prahba – coming forward and providing us with the information that we need to work out why this has happened to her and who is responsible for it,” Homicide squad commander Detective Superintendent Michael Willing said.
Arun Kumar, Mrs Kumar’s distraught husband, who was on the phone in India to his wife when she was murdered, arrived in Australia earlier today.
Mrs Kumar had finished working a double shift at an IT company and was taking a shortcut home across Parramatta Park.
Chillingly, she was talking with her husband Arun Kumar, 9300km away at home in India, when she said ‘he stabbed me, darling’ before the line went dead and Ms Kumar collapsed in a pool of blood.
Police will this afternoon release CCTV footage of Mrs Kumar walking home from Parramatta train station in the hope it will help generate a lead in the baffling case.
He said the footage didn’t appear to show anyone following the victim as she made her way home.
Detective Superintendent Willing said Mr Kumar was talking with detectives about the conversation before she was killed.
“We have some detail in terms of their conversation,” he said. “He’s understandably extremely distressed.”
Mrs Kumar’s brother-in-law, Thrijesh Jayachandra, told The Hindu Times that she had told Mr Kumar about a man following her.
“She was walking while talking to Arun on the phone when she said that a suspicious-looking man was following her,” he said.
“The next moment, he heard her scream for help and then plead with the man not to harm [her] and take all her belongings if he wanted. Seconds later, he heard her scream and say she was stabbed,” he said.
Mrs Kumar was just 300m from her Westmead home when she was attacked. Her husband is on his way from Bangalore with the couple’s nine-year-old daughter.
“It is a nightmare. I don’t know why this happens to good people,” Ms Kumar’s friend and flatmate, who asked only to be identified as Sarada said.
“I don’t know how I’m going to face her husband. She is very close to her husband and daughter.
“She talks to them every day, as soon as she finishes work she calls her husband and keeps talking. She has a good family.”
Police officers returned to the murder scene today in a search for clues, a team of men scanning Amos Street that leads off the park.
Soni Bandari, 32, of Parramatta, told The Daily Telegraph she walks through the park everyday to get to work at the local Westfield.
“I’ll probably be more alert and I’ll be looking to make sure it’s all good and no one is following me or not,” Bandari said.“I’ll be a bit more conscious I’d say.”
Ms Kumar, was set to return home to India next month after her working visa expired, after being sent to Sydney in 2012 to work for Indian-based IT and outsourcing company Mind Tree.
The company is based at The Rocks but Ms Kumar had been working with a client at Rhodes when she caught the train home on Saturday, getting off at Parramatta Station about 9pm.
It is believed she had knocked back a lift from work because she didn’t want to bother friends.
“She kept telling us how much she missed her family,” he nephew Thrijesh Jayachandra, 24, told the Bangalore Mirror.
She missed spending three precious years with her daughter, who was quickly growing up, and that she did not want to waste any more time away from her family, he said.
“She always made it a point to visit the temple near her apartment at least once a week. After getting home from work every evening, she would pray. In her three years in Sydney, she had only come to Bengaluru once for a holiday, while Arun and their daughter had flown to Australia twice to visit her.
“We are all in shock and are unable to come to terms with this. Her daughter has been kept in the dark about the incident as she has examinations going on. We told her that her father had to rush somewhere on an emergency business trip,” Thrijesh added.
Police are poring over CCTV footage showing Ms Kumar walking from the station along Argyle St and on to Park Parade to see if she was followed into Parramatta Park.
Sarada said her friend used to call when she worked late and she would collect her from the railway station.
“But because she was working late regularly, she felt bad to ask for help. Maybe that is the reason she didn’t call,” Sarada said.
The path through Parramatta Park cuts between a golf course and Parramatta High School. It is sparsely lit but the attack happened near a cluster of trees that has wide open spaces on either side and was 20m from the nearest light.
She was found in a pool of blood by a man just after 9.30pm. She was taken to Westmead Hospital but had lost a lot of blood and was pronounced dead at 12.45am.
“It is a horrific attack without any stretch of the imagination,” Superintendent Wayne Cox from Parramatta police said. “Certainly my heartfelt condolences go out to the family and we will certainly be working with the family to move through this investigation process with them.”
As police and homicide detectives formed Strike Force Marcoala to investigate the murder, Supt Cox said they were particularly interested in talking to people who were around Argyle St and Park Parade on Saturday night.
Sarada told The Daily Telegraph she had warned her friend about the dangers of the park.
“I told her that it is not a safe way to come through because there is people that stop and ask you for money, like $2,” Sarada said.
She took aim at her friend’s employers, saying they should have helped her stay safe if she was working so late. “I kept warning her, either to take a cab from work or just take a safer route,” she said.
“Even if I work late my bosses would provide a cab. She is a single lady, doesn’t have anyone here, she works late at night — why they don’t think about security of their staff?”
She said that Ms Kumar was “a really nice, quiet and hard working person”. “She is very religious, goes to the temple every week. As soon as she comes back from home she takes a bath and she prays,” she said.
Ms Kumar’s colleagues at Mind Tree yesterday said they had been told by police not to say anything.
Parramatta residents say the park is poorly lit and quiet after the sun goes down. They believe CCTV and extra lighting must be installed to make it safer.
“I’m just lucky that nothing has ever happened to me,” said Lara Emery, 25, who lives in the area and was moved to tears when she heard about the murder. She said she would reconsider using the park at night.
LONELY WALK IN THE DARKNESS ENDS WITH A BLOODY TRAGEDY
PRABHA Arun Kumar’s walk home from Parramatta Railway Station is a long and lonely one during the day, let alone in the dark of a Saturday night.
After getting off at the station the 41-year-old turned right on to Argyle St and walked 800m to the corner of Pitt St and Argyle St.
On this leg of the journey she walked past the entrance to the Parramatta Westfield shopping centre. From this point, the path quickly becomes very quiet.
There are railway tracks on one side of the road and anonymous office blocks on the other.
Retracing Ms Kumar’s steps at 3pm on a Sunday, I didn’t pass a soul on the footpath between Marsden St and Pitt St.
One can only imagine how deserted it was at 9pm.
She then crossed over at the lights from Pitt St to Park Parade and entered Parramatta Park.
From there it is less than 400m to her home up the long path that leads to Amos St.
If you are standing at the corner of Pitt St and Park Parade in daylight hours, you can see the path all the way up the hill to where Ms Kumar was attacked. The 250m climb is lit by only five street lamps, meaning her attacker would have had plenty of dark spots to hide in.
But Ms Kumar only made it three-quarters of the way up the incline before she was stabbed.
The scene of the crime was almost exactly between two street lamps, meaning she was about 20m from the nearest light at the time of the attack.
Women who live in the area say they would never walk through the park at night because it is “not very well lit”.
Police have also said the lighting in the park is not up to scratch.
Originally published as Prabha’s haunting final moments