A 9-year-old Queens girl’s bruised, naked body was found in a bathtub strangled by her stepmom, Guyanese Arjun Samdhi Pardas; the New York Daily quoted Police sources as saying.
Pardas was charged on Saturday with killing Ashdeep Kaur in the bathroom of their Richmond Hill home, according to sources.
Detectives grilled the 55-year-old stepmother at the 102nd Precinct Stationhouse for hours, after finding her hiding at a friend’s home.
A haggard Pardas was walked out of the precinct around 19:00h wearing a white Tyvek suit. A small woman, she grimaced when asked if she killed Ashdeep and appeared to start crying as she was placed in the Police car.
“She was not treating her really good,” said Ashdeep’s uncle, Manjinder Singh. “The girl told me she got beat up by her. Twice she told me she grabbed her and threw her on the bed. I was not thinking she would kill her.”
Ashdeep’s grief-stricken dad, Sukhjinder Singh, was seen being helped out of the Stationhouse by two relatives at about 11:00h on Saturday. The stone-faced father didn’t say a word.
The girl emigrated from India, where she lived with her mother, and joined him in Queens three months ago.
“Her father wanted her to be here, to stay in US,” Manjinder Singh said. “There are better schools over here. Everything is good. She was doing good, learning English.”
But the father’s dream of a better life for his little girl turned into a nightmare on Friday.
Relatives said Ashdeep feared her stepmother, who is from Guyana, and said the woman had hit the girl. They hadn’t thought the punishments would rise to that level of abuse.
According to relatives, on the day of the murder, a woman who shares part of the 112th St home —including the bathroom— told Ashdeep’s dad that Pardas and his daughter had gone into the bathroom together.
The stepmother emerged alone and before leaving the house with her two grandchildren, told the housemate that the girl was still inside taking a shower.
When the housemate went to use the bathroom about 6pm she discovered the girl’s lifeless body in the bathtub. There was no water in the tub.
“The stepmother did whatever she did with her in the house,” another relative said. “The dead body was in the bathroom, and she ran away.”
Two children who were found with Pardas when she was arrested were put in the care of the city’s child protective services, WCBS-TV reported.
A neighbour said Pardas had lived on the street for years and didn’t get along with her family.
“I never knew she was capable of doing that,” the neighbour said. “That’s why it’s such a shock.”
An autopsy was scheduled to determine how Ashdeep died.
Manjinder Singh was beside himself with grief and struggling with regret that he didn’t do more to protect his niece.
“She had been living with us two or three days, sleeping over,” he said, his voice cracking. “I shouldn’t have dropped her off. Her father said drop her home, and the second day, she’s dead.”