Mumbai: Indrani Mukerjea, who is accused of killing her daughter Sheena Bora, has allegedly claimed during her interrogation that the 24-year-old is in the US and is not coming forward because she hates her.
Police sources say Ms Mukerjea, a former media executive married to TV tycoon Peter Mukerjea, has stuck to this assertion and has been "tough to crack."
Sheena Bora was allegedly killed by a trio of her mother, her step-father Sanjeev Khanna and a driver on April 24, 2012. The three are accused of strangling her in a hired car, burning the body and dumping it in Raigad, 84 km from Mumbai.
Ms Mukerjea had for three years told friends and family that Ms Bora had gone to the US. Even Rahul Mukerjea, Sheena's step-brother and fianc, had allegedly been told the same.
The police are collecting details of passengers who travelled to the US during the time of the alleged killing to nail what they believe is a lie.
Ms Mukerjea allegedly kept up the charade by using Sheena's phone for a year, forging letters in her name and also sending a fake resignation letter to her office. Sources say the laptop used to prepare that letter has been recovered.
Sheena, say the police, had been dead for three years. On Sunday, the police found one of the suitcases allegedly used to transport the corpse to a forest where it was burnt and dumped. Last week, they also claimed to have found Ms Bora's skull.
All three accused were produced before the court yesterday, and now face two more charges - attempting murder and poisoning. Ms Mukerjea is accused of trying to kill her son Mekhail Bora, Sheena Bora's younger brother.
Ms Mukerjea had always introduced her children as her younger siblings.