Local News

Court Records: Slain Woman in Financial Dispute

Posted January 24, 2008

— Court records show a slain Cary woman had a dispute with her estranged husband over how their financial assets should be divided.

In a divorce complaint filed in November, Vanlata Patel, 57, requested a majority of more than $400,000 in Swiss bank accounts that she shared with Harish Patel, including $100,000 she claimed was a gift from her parents she was keeping in the account for her son from a previous marriage.

Patel was reported missing Friday when she did not board a flight to Canada. Firefighters had found her burned remains along Interstate 85 in Virginia two days earlier.

Meanwhile, investigators were back for a second day at the Cary apartment Patel once lived at with her husband.

Cary Police Capt. David Wulff said investigators searched and took into custody two vehicles the couple owned. They returned Thursday, he said, because they were not finished with what they wanted to do.

Wulff said investigators have not named any suspects or persons of interest in Patel's death, but they have not excluded anyone, either. Police ask that anyone with information about Patel's death to call 919-469-4012.

Results of an autopsy to determine the cause of Patel's death is as much as a week away, authorities said.


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  • sunflowerbubbles Jan 25, 2008

    Her husband did this or had something to do with it...

  • beachlova Jan 24, 2008

    Her husband did it. His hands were shaking so bad during the interview. The camera focused on that several times. I was thinking he was doing a "copycat" also.

  • homer s Jan 24, 2008

    follow the money ....

  • WHEEL Jan 24, 2008

    Its a tragic situatiion, although slightly improved over what would have happened in India. There the Mother in Law would simply have doused her Sari in paraffin (kerosene) and set her on fire alive, later claiming it to be an accident. Don't believe it? look it up.

  • Bull City Girl Jan 24, 2008

    I think this is sad, but you should look at the spouse first when it involves money and divorce.

  • ranquick Jan 24, 2008

    In the end we will see the husband kill her or had it done.

  • wrx44 Jan 24, 2008

    Of course he did it....

  • 2beornot2be Jan 24, 2008

    Why is everyone so MATERIALISTIC? How can you spend 400k from JAIL? People need to learn there is a lot more life to live. There are no benefits to killing someone. It is better to divorce someone and have freedom and some money than to kill someone and lose it all...... WILL PEOPLE EVER LEARN??????

  • random musings Jan 24, 2008

    husband guilty (big surprise there)... next....

  • damfrisky33 Jan 24, 2008

    I bet it was the husband. It's very suspicious, that she has visited him due to the despute and then she is dead. What culture are they?