Washington, April 19:
An Indian-American woman in north Texas, accused of killing her son and leaving his body in the bathtub for four days, claims she did so in accordance with her Hindu beliefs.
Pallavi Dhawan, 38, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 10-year-old son, Arnav, almost three months ago, describes the events in a sworn affidavit sent to police through her lawyer, David Finn.
In the affidavit published by Dallas Observer, Dhawan said when she tried to wake her son for school on Jan 29, he was cold and unresponsive.
She said at first she thought her son was faking being asleep to get out of going to school, but when she picked him up to carry him to take a bath, she realised he was dead.
After checking Arnav’s pulse and heartbeat and trying to perform CPR, Dhawan said she went into a state of shock.
In March, a medical examiner said Arnav’s cause of death could not be determined, but Finn said the results trend “very, very heavily towards natural causes,” according to CBS News.
The family said the boy had pre-existing medical conditions.
In the affidavit, Dhawan says, “I proceeded to give [Arnav] his deceased bath according to Hindu customs, dressed him in his favourite clothes and kept his favorite toy next to him and I later put his head on his favourite pillow along with his favourite blanket.”
Because her husband, Sumeet Dhawan, was out of town on business, Pallavi said she followed their cultural rituals to the best of her ability while waiting for him to return.
The affidavit, as cited by CBS concluded, with Pallavi again asserting her innocence saying: “Finally, 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. I did not fail to render aid to Arnav at any time … Most importantly, I loved Arnav with all of my heart and never would hurt him in any way, and I miss him very much.”