News East West
NEW YORK: An Indian American mother in Texas, who faces charges of killing her 10-year-old son and leaving his body in a bathtub for four days, says she did that as per Hindu rituals for the dead.
The incident happened about four months ago.
Pallavi Dhawan, 38, was arrested after the police found the body of her son Arnav Dhawan in a dry bathtub with a cloth wrapped around him and plastic bags around him in the family home in January.
In her affidavit filed in the case, she says that a day before her son died it was a normal day for him.
The Dallas Observer newspaper quotes her saying in her affidavit that she read to her son before she tucked him in bed. Since he had trouble falling asleep, she slept in his room.
But he wouldn’t wake up in the morning. His body was cold and stiff, she says in the affidavit. She put him in a bath in a bid to wake him up, but he just slumped down.
“After realizing that he was gone, I went in a state of shock and wanted only to know who would perform his last rites,” she says in her affidavit.
She says she dressed him as per Hindu rituals and arranged his body in ice as she waited for her husband Sumeet to return from a business trip to India.
Pallavi says when her husband returned from India, she didn’t tell him right away about their son’s death because he “has a weak heart and I knew he would not be able to receive news of his son’s demise well.’’
A little later when she broke the news to husband, he called in the police. Cops found the body in the locked room in a sitting pose in the dry bathtub.
Pallavi added, “I was immediately separated from my husband, arrested, handcuffed, taken out to the back seat of the police car and they read me my rights.’’
She says what she did was as per Hindu rituals performed for the dead, adding that “I loved Arnav with all of my heart and would never hut him in anyway, and I miss him very much.’’
She says her son died of natural causes.