NEWS

Were The Kumars MURDERED?

The man who found the missing Kumar couple’s bodies says he suspects they were murdered. Joseva Waqatabu made this extraordinary claim yesterday as Police received fresh information about the mysterious
07 May 2016 10:36
Were The Kumars MURDERED?
Josefa Waqatabu watches the sea as he remembered how he found the body of Mrs Kumar in 2007 at Loloma Beach in Navua. Photo: PAULINI RATULAILAI.

The man who found the missing Kumar couple’s bodies says he suspects they were murdered.

Joseva Waqatabu made this extraordinary claim yesterday as Police received fresh information about the mysterious disappearance of the Kumar family and their car 10 years ago. He said he also told the Police about his suspicion then.

Mr Waqatabu came forward after the car was pulled out of the Navua River on Wednesday.

Taxi driver Davendra Kumar, 42, wife Nirupa Devi, 32, daughter Dipshika Kumar, 9, and son Edwin Kumar, 3, were last seen leaving the Assemblies of God Church at Calia in Navua in a white taxi at around 9.30pm on a rainy night of April 19, 2006.

More than a year later, the parents’ remains, identified by the only surviving daughter Deepika Kumar, were found at a beach on the seafront at Loloma Beach in Pacific Harbour, not far from the shores of the then Taunovo Bay Resort.

Dipshika and Edwin are still  unaccounted for.

Mr Waqatabu, 33, of Vunibuabua Settlement, Pacific Harbour, said he remembered the events clearly.

The farm hand at Crest Chicken Farm in Navua said he was then working for an Australian construction company, Northern Project.

He said he was on his way back to work after having lunch at his uncle’s place at Lepanoni Village in Pacific Harbour when he found something strange floating out at sea.

“At around 1.20pm on that day I walked back to the site where we were working. It was low tide and it was just after a weeklong of rain and the sea was bringing to shore a lot of coconut leaves, banana leaves and tree branches,” Mr Waqatabu said.

“While walking I looked out to the sea and something captured my sight. I saw something floating and thought it was a big turtle. I then went closer out to sea to check and saw an Indian lady with her face down and her knees, elbows and head missing.

“She was still wearing a blue saree and still wearing her  . When we came to know that she had been missing for more than a year, I just wondered how come she was still wearing her undergarment and saree.

“The only thing that came to my mind was that she must have been killed and kept in a freezer, before she could have been dumped out at sea during the week. If her body was floating out at sea for more than one year, her clothes should have come off already,” he said.

Mr Kumar’s body was also found a few metres away from where Ms Devi’s body was found.

Sources within the Police Force have also started questioning why 10 years ago, certain possibilities such as the discovery of the two bodies at the same spot and the fact that the skin and flesh of the torso had not rotted, were not explored.

Commissioner of Police, Brigadier- General Qiliho said there had been a lot of speculations by the public in relation to the discovery of the two bodies in 2007 and the car earlier this week.

Brigadier- General Qiliho said upon sighting the pictures of the bodies of the Kumar parents from Police evidence, he could confirm that their bodies had decomposed resulting in the missing of both their heads.

He has also urged members of the public to avoid speculating the matter and come forward to Police if they had some information.

Investigations into the case have been reactivated and Police are awaiting the results of forensic investigation of the human remains that were found inside the Kumar family’s car which were salvaged from the Navua River last Wednesday.

Edited by  Nemani Delaibatiki

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