Partha De, the 47-year-old software engineer who was found living with the skeletons of his sister and two pet dogs at their ancestral Robinson Street house for over six months, was found dead with his body in a charred state, on Tuesday.
According to police, his body was found in “burning condition” inside a bathroom half a bottle of petrol and matchsticks. The preliminary investigation suggests that he allegedly committed suicide. The body was recovered from a residential apartment.
In 2015, police had reached De’s house in South Kolkata’s Shakespeare Sarini following a call from locals about a fire in the house.
De’s father, 77-year-old Arabinda De, had locked himself up in a bathroom and set himself on fire.
While searching the house, the cops stumbled upon some skeletons, which De later confessed were of his deceased sister Debjani. It was reported that De could not come to terms with his sister’s death and therefore did not cremate her.
“De used to stay isolated in the flat. He did not talk to anyone in the complex,” neighbours said.
“He used to come down for a brisk walk in the morning every day, but he was not seen for the past few days,” said a neighbour. Police are yet to ascertain when he died. The body has been sent for autopsy.
In the charge sheet filed by the police in December 2015, Partha De was charged with trying to tamper with evidence and keeping dead bodies without informing the police. He was charged under IPC Sections 268 (public nuisance) 269 (negligent act likely to spread infectious disease), along with other sections.
It is now suspected that this depression and schizophrenia — which experts believe were hereditary in Partha’s case — drove him to suicide. What has added to the suicide theory is the presence of a matchbox and a can of petrol nearby, and the absence of any sign of forced entry. Nevertheless, the police are continuing their investigation in the case.