The husband of a Texas woman accused of murdering their 10-year-old son has publicly declared her innocence, saying religious customs are the reason she acted the way she did. Sumeet Dhawan said his wife, Pallavi Dhawan, a former NASA computer programmer, put Arnav Dhawan’s body on ice so he could deliver last rites upon his return from an out-of-town business trip.
David Finn, a Dallas-based attorney representing Pallavi Dhawan, told ABC affiliate WFAA 8 that the medical examiner told him Arnav Dhawan did not drown, nor did he have any visible injuries.
Pallavi Dhawan was arrested Jan. 29 after her son’s body was found in the bathtub of the family’s Frisco home, apparently kept for several days.
Authorities have said that Pallavi Dhawan was asked if she had “killed the child and she nodded her head, ‘yes.’” She remains free on a $50,000 bail. The Collin County medical examiner has not ruled on the cause of death pending toxicology results.
However, Sumeet Dhawan told WFAA 8 that his wife was in a state of shock and did not confess to killing their son. He also has said that their son suffered from a rare neurological problem that caused seizures. He and his wife’s attorney have demanded that Frisco police return records documenting his son’s medical problems. “She can never ever hurt that child,” Sumeet Dhawan said.
Meanwhile, both parents attended a vigil held for Arnav Dhawan Feb. 5 night outside their home and reportedly wept during the vigil. Nearly 150 people attended the vigil with teddy bears, Hot Wheels cars and photographs of the 5th-grader, the Dallas Morning News reported.
“When you lose a child, you lose a child. You really don’t have time for those things,” news reports quoted Pallavi Dhawan as saying. “Forget his ailments and everything, you know. Other than that he was a boy, a little kid.”