Satara: Maharashtra Police teams on Wednesday started a search in the Krishna river for the body of Vanita Narhari Gaikwad - one of the six victims of self-confessed killer medico Santosh Gulabrao Pol, now famous as "Dr. Death," a top official said here.
"The search is being carried out in the river waters in Umbrej and Karad areas," said Satara Superintendent of Police Sandip Patil.
Additionally, at least three more families have come forward with cases of their missing relatives registered with the police and have expressed apprehensions over their fate.
Police are now probing afresh the missing complaints of Vilas Vishnu Dhage, 45, untraced since 2001; Dipali Krishna Sanas, 21, disappeared since 2002; Mahadeo Sonu Chikane, 47, off-radar since 2012.
All these missing persons were residents of different villages in Wai sub-district and their relatives are now worried about the fate that has befallen them in the wake of the latest stunning revelations.
Patil said in view of the fresh developments, the investigating team will probe these missing persons cases accordingly.
Meanwhile, during his ongoing custodial interrogation, Pol has revealed how he had eliminated two of his victims - Vanita Gaikwad and Salma Shaikh - in his ambulance by administering them lethal injections.
While he threw Gaikwad's body in the Krishna river reservoir, he buried Shaikh in the complex near his poultry farm.
Till date, Pol has confessed to the cold-blooded killings of Surekha Kisan Chikane on May 20, 2003, Vanita Narhari Gaikwad on August 12, 2006, Jagabai Laxman Pol on August 13, 2010, Nathmal Dhanaji Bhandari on December 7, 2015 and an orphan Salma Shaikh on January 17, 2016.
A majority of the victims either worked with him or came in contact as patients, and their remains have been sent for forensic and DNA tests to match them with the victims, Ghanvat added.
On Wednesday, Pol told investigators that he had amassed nearly half a kilo of gold from his victims under the lure of doubling it in a ponzi scheme, and operated seven bank accounts.
The police are now in the process of writing to all the banks to provide details of all his accounts which could throw up more leads.
On Monday, August 15, Pol made the sensational disclosure that he had killed a total of six persons, including one man and five women since 2003, earning him the sobriquet "Dr. Death".
The police have already dug up five bodies from Pol's farmhouse around 13 km from Wai town and teams are now trying to locate the body of Vanita Gaikwad in the Krishna river.
The investigations are headed by Senior Police Inspector of Wai Crime Branch Padmakar Ghanvat under the direct supervision of SP Patil and Konkan Range IGP Vishwas Nangre-Patil.
Pol, 41 and his associate, a nurse Jyoti Pandurang Mandre, 25 have been arrested and charged with the kidnapping and murder of an "anganwadi worker" Mangal Jedhe, 49 on June 16, which blew the lid off the shocking crimes.
On Tuesday, he had told the police that he had conspired to kill Jedhe nearly three months ago and even kept a dug-up grave ready for her, plus his plans to eliminate his associate Jyoti Mandre.
Pol, described as an "Electro-Homoeopath", practiced in some local hospitals and at his farmhouse, 13 km on the outskirts of the quaint Wai town, at the base of the twin hill stations of Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani, around 175 km south of Mumbai.
As the horrifying details of the case tumbled out since August 15, hundreds of curious onlookers from Wai and surrounding areas came to view Pol's home and farmhouse, and a group of "anganwadi" women workers staged a protest demanding justice for their former president Jedhe.
Since Tuesday, the town folk are full of praise for the local police who solved the case and have put up congratulatory banners and posters in and around Wai.