The man suspected of murdering Sydney dentist Preethi Reddy, whose body was found in a suitcase in Sydney’s east last night, is another dentist and her ex-boyfriend, Harsh Narde.
Dr Narde died in a fiery car crash on the New England Highway at Willow Tree on Monday night, a day after his ex-girlfriend was reported missing.
That head-on collision, about 340 kilometres from where Dr Reddy’s body was found, is believed to have been deliberate.
The ABC understands Dr Narde was the key suspect in Dr Reddy’s murder.
Police confirmed they spoke to Dr Reddy’s former partner as part of the missing persons investigation, before his death.
NSW Police said the investigation was still in its early stages.
“I cannot qualify exactly what has happened and I won’t put it out there because if we’re wrong and it’s not substantiated then we’re doing a disservice to Preethi and her family,” Detective Superintendent Gavin Dengate said.
“At this stage we know they met up in Sydney and now we’re looking at all the movements between these two.”
Pair met up on Sunday
Dr Reddy, 32, was attending a dental conference in St Leonards at the weekend, where the ABC understands she met Dr Narde.
On Sunday, she told her family on the phone about 11am she would head home after a late breakfast. When she failed to return, relatives contacted police.
Through their own inquiries, officers found her body just before 9.30pm yesterday in a suitcase inside her grey Volkswagen Golf, which was parked in Kingsford, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
NSW Police said Dr Reddy was stabbed numerous times.
The last images police have of Dr Reddy show her at McDonald’s on George Street in Sydney’s CBD about 2.15am on Sunday.
It was just hours after the Sydney Mardi Gras parade finished, and Dr Reddy was lining up in the restaurant alone.
She bought two bottles of water before leaving, walking south towards Market Street, where police said Dr Reddy was staying at a hotel with a man known to her.
Kingsford resident Fatima said police asked her about the vehicle that Dr Reddy was found in.
“They just asked about our details and then asked some questions about the car, so we have heard of something strange about the car, some chatters, some people,” she said.
“It used to be a safe area so I’m just a bit concerned now.
“I told them I might notice the car before … I didn’t notice anything strange about that.”
‘See you next week’
Dr Reddy worked at Glenbrook Dental Surgery in the Blue Mountains, about 70 kilometres west of Sydney.
On Wednesday, her colleagues posted on Facebook about her death.
“Glenbrook Dental Surgery staff are in mourning to hear the sad news about Preethi Reddy,” the post read.
Colleagues told the ABC they had been unable to sleep since her disappearance and patients had offered to help with the search.
“It’s devastating, and this is completely out of character,” dental assistant Chelsea Holmes said.
“I spoke to her last Thursday and it was ‘see you next week’ and completely normal.”
Others also posted condolence messages on social media for Dr Reddy on Wednesday.
“I can’t imagine the absolute pain Preethi’s family and friends are feeling this morning at the devastating news that has come to light,” one woman posted on Facebook.
“Sending my deepest sympathy and condolences to Preethi’s family and friends … RIP you are now at peace.”
“I’m very upset and shocked to hear this. I went to high school with Preethi,” another woman posted.
Reghavee Goel has just moved to Kingsford and was shocked to hear Dr Reddy’s body had been discovered nearby.
She said she noticed something was wrong about 9.30pm on Tuesday when several police cars arrived near her home and “were here all night”.
Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding her death and are asking anyone with information to come forward.
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