56-yr-old robbed, murdered

A 56-year-old woman was allegedly murdered in her seventh-floor flat in Versova on Wednesday morning. The body of the victim, Sabatina Fernandez, was found at the doorstep of her house. Police have detained four men, inlcuding the building's garbage collector and watchman.

Police said robbery was the motive behind the murder as the accused fled with around 10 tolas of gold jewellery. Police recovered one of her earrings from a garbage dump outside the building.

Versova police said Sabatina's husband Victor (59) found the body lying near the lift of their flat in Mangala Machimar Society next to actor Govinda's bungalow.

Victor, a retired businessman, told the police that he had been staying alone with his wife for the past three years. Around 10 am, he stepped out to buy vegetables and take an appointment with a doctor for his wife when the incident took place.

Victor said he returned after an hour and found Sabatina's body in a pool of blood. He panicked and called their relative who lives nearby.

"He was screaming, maara...maara. We thought that he was being attacked and rushed to the building. We found our uncle trembling with fear on the ground floor. He then told us about our aunt," said Anthony D'Souza, Victor's relative. "We rushed our aunt to Cooper Hospital and informed the police," he added.

"Someone rang the doorbell and Sabatina might have opened the door thinking the garbage collector was there. The attacker then slashed her shoulder," said Pimple.

"Sabatina was ailing; Victor would cook and do the household chores. The lift in the building is not functional so he steps out to shop for grocery only once a day. The building is not maintained properly. Only three families stay in the building. The Fenandez couple were the only inhabitants on the seventh floor," said inspector Ashoka Pimple.

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