Local News

Cary Man Indicted in Wife's Death; Drunken 911 Call Released

Posted February 26, 2008

— A Cary man was indicted on a charge of murder Tuesday in connection with the death of his estranged wife.

Meanwhile Tuesday, authorities also released the Jan. 26 911 call Harish Patel, 60, made saying he was dying. That call led authorities to search his apartment again, three days after a previous search.

At times, during the seven-minute call, Patel is unresponsive as the 911 operator, and later, police, call out his name.

While emergency crews and police were at the scene responding to the call, they saw a knife and other documents they thought might be relevant in their probe into death of Vanlata Patel.

Her charred body was found in Virginia Jan. 16; Patel was arrested and charged Feb. 11.

An affidavit said Vanlata Patel's partially clothed body was found with a comforter underneath and that interlaced in the body, clothing and comforter was a section of rope.

The warrant also said she had disclosed physical and mental abuse to various family members and friends.

The Patels had been married since 1996 and had adult children from previous marriages. She filed for divorce in November, and court records indicate the two had a dispute with over how their financial assets, including more than $400,000 in Swiss bank accounts, should be divided.

According to the warrant, the couple had been discussing and had agreed to an out-of-court settlement regarding the division of assets and she might have been at her estranged husband's apartment on Jan. 16.

Patel, who was denied bond earlier this month, is in the Wake County jail awaiting trial. He is expected back in court March 6.


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  • jetset Feb 26, 2008

    He isn't too smart. He should have tried to cover his tracks a little better. But, as they always say...play with fire long enough and you will get burned. Well, he is gonna burn now.

  • smitty Feb 26, 2008

    "Are you kidding me???"

    Drinking alcohol is a sin to some in the Hindu religion. India actually instituted prohibition in 1977 but it was repealed two years later.

    This guy was stupid. He probably really thought he was dying. They found her body on the 16th. He called 911 on the 26th when he got soused.


    What I can't figure out is how the police searched his house again after this 911 call and found MORE evidence. Did they not look hard enough the first time?

  • nothing surprising Feb 26, 2008

    "Hindus typically don't drink"

    Are you kidding me??? I, myself, am a Hindu and have seen many, many Hindu's drinking who in return aren't convicted of murder. This is just a sick minded individual.

  • tiffany04us Feb 26, 2008

    OK. He calls 911 and tells the operator that he is dying. Did he drive all the way tp Virginia drunk and then set his wife on fire and drive back to Cary? You know, this was all a front to make himself look impaired in the court's eyes. When I first saw this story on the news, I knew then he had killed his wife. What a punk. Is he a legal citizen? And yes, he stated he hoped she was happy wherever she was. He knew where she was and still acted like the victim. Somebody give this guy the needle and save the taxpayers money!!!

  • Adelinthe Feb 26, 2008

    Praying for their children.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • rainy39 Feb 26, 2008

    Is it just me or does he even look mean? I just dont understand men killing their wives/gf's. I mean there are so many more women out there, if your not happy then get the Heck out and go looking for greener pastures. I am sure the women would be much more happier as well.

  • smitty Feb 26, 2008

    Hindus typically don't drink. He probably just started up and didn't know what to expect.

  • SimpleGurlNC Feb 26, 2008

    It sadden me everytime I hear someone taking another life. Seem if the law would pass a law "what you do others will be done to you" but it seem the law only care about DRUGS not LIVES.. just my opinion..

  • sunflowerbubbles Feb 26, 2008

    I think he faked all this, or if he did try to kill himself it was because he knew he was GUILTY and would be caught! Too bad he didnt do it instead of 'try"! Justice must be served for the deceased!

  • cuteboyd Feb 26, 2008

    I hope this goes to trial SOON so that he will be punished.