Losses preceded alleged ransom scheme
- POLICE & FIRE
Thursday, November 29, 2012
The man accused of killing a 10-month-old girl and her grandmother in an Upper Merion apartment tower in October had reportedly lost $15,000 gambling at casinos in the week before the crime. The Associated Press reports that 26-year-old Raghunandan Yandamuri told authorities about his gambling losses in a videotaped statement he made following his arrest. The statement was played at his preliminary hearing on Wednesday morning. Authorities have said the murders of Saanvi Venna and her 61-year-old grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, were part of a botched ransom scheme in which Yandamuri planned to demand $50,000 from Saanvi's parents for her safe return. Several copies of a ransom note were found at the murder scene. The Montgomery County …
The 10-month-old had been missing since Monday. A family friend has been charged in the murders of the child and her grandmother, who reportedly attacked the would-be kidnapper as he tried to take her granddaughter.
The body of Saanvi Venna, the 10-month-old girl who disappeared from the Marquis Apartments in King of Prussia on Monday following the murder of her grandmother, was found at about 4:30 a.m. Friday in a sauna room inside the apartment complex, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman said. Raghunandan Yandamuri, 26, described by Ferman as a friend of the Venna family, has been charged in the murders of Saanvi and Satyavathi Venna. Ferman said Yandamuri told authorities that he intended to kidnap the child and hold her for $50,000 ransom. See this article's photo section to see a copy of the ransom note. "He believed the family was of sufficient means to pay that ransom," Ferman said. As he was leaving the scene of the elder Venna's …