New Delhi: In a shocking development, ten-month old Indian-origin baby Saanvi who was kidnapped was found dead in the basement of an apartment in a Philadelphia township in the US, media reports said.
Baby Saanvi Venna was found dead in the basement of the apartment by the police early this morning at about 4:30 (local time) in the King of Prussia, a Philadelphia police official said.
"We have arrested a family friend, identified as Raghunanean Yaneadamuri, who was demanding ransom," the official said, adding that there were 10 copies of identical ransom notes demanding USD 50,000 found near the apartment.
"We have filed charges of murder, kidnapping, robbery, burglary and theft against Yaneadamuri. What we have learned during the course of investigation is that this individual planned to kidnap Saanvi and was going to hold her for ransom," the official said.
Earlier, Pennsylvania State Police had issued an Amber Child Abduction Alert.
Baby Saanvi was kidnapped between 8 am and 1 pm local time on Monday from the family`s apartment in King of Prussia, a Philadelphia suburb, according to investigators.
On Wednesday, the local police and the Telugu community had announced a $30,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of the toddler that was later increased to $50,000.
Four days ago, baby`s 61-year-old grandmother, who had gone to Pennsylvania, US from Andhra Pradesh in July, was killed by unidentified assailants, when she apparently tried to resist the abduction of her 10-month-old granddaughter.
The US police and the FBI had launched a massive manhunt to find the assailants and the kidnappers.
Satyavathi Venna, the paternal grandmother of Saanvi, had arrived from India for a visit and was scheduled to return home in January. She was babysitting the child.
The parents of the child, Venkata Konda Siva Venna (father) and Chenchu Latha Punuru (mother), had emigrated from India in February 2007 and have previously lived in San Antonio Texas, Troy Michigan, and Cleveland Ohio. In June this year, they moved to King of Prussia in Pennsylvania.
(With PTI inputs)