Officials confirm that bodies are those of dead boy’s parents

09/05/2014 8:27 AM

09/05/2014 8:29 AM

Authorities confirmed Thursday that the man and woman found dead at a Frisco house Wednesday are the parents of a 10-year-old boy found dead in a bathtub at the house in January, a death in which the mother was a suspect.

The Collin County medical examiner identified the bodies as Sumeet Dhawan, 43, and Pallavi Dhawan, 39, Frisco police said.

In January, Frisco police arrested Pallavi Dhawan on suspicion of murder in the death of the Dhawans’ son, Arnav. Pallavi Dhawan was free on $50,000 bond.

A medical examiner’s report had said a natural cause was the most likely cause of the child’s death. However, police had said Pallavi Dhawan had confessed to killing the boy — something the family’s attorney, David Finn of Dallas, has strenuously denied.

Officers found Pallavi Dhawan’s body in the family’s back yard pool and Sumeet Dhawan’s body in the house. Neither police nor the medical examiner released the cause of their deaths. Finn said he had not been told if any marks were found on their bodies.

Assistant Police Chief Darren Stevens said the department has been in contact with the extended Dhawan family “and are doing everything possible to keep them informed over the course of this investigation.”

Officers had found Arnav’s body on Jan. 29 while making a welfare check at the house. He was wrapped in a cloth up to the neck, and there were empty plastic bags in the tub next to him. A police affidavit said Sumeet Dhawan told investigators that his wife was having mental health issues and that they had been having marital problems.

Since Pallavi Dhawan’s release on bond, Finn had expressed impatience with the police handling of their investigation in light of the medical examiner’s findings.

Finn has said that Arnav was a special-needs child, born with a brain cyst and microcephaly, a condition characterized by an abnormally small head, which could have been a factor in his death.

On Thursday, Finn said, “I’m not sure that we’ll ever know what happened.”

Finn said he had been in contact with Sumeet Dhawan’s relatives, who hope to send the bodies back to India for cremation in accordance with Hindu tradition. It’s not clear if the bodies are in a condition suitable for the trip, he said. If they aren’t, “they’ll be cremated and the ashes sent back to India,” Finn said.

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