FRISCO, Texas (AP) — A North Texas woman was charged with murder Thursday in the death of her 10-year-old son, whose body was found in a bathtub in the family's suburban Dallas home.
Pallavi Dhawan was booked into the Frisco City Jail after her Wednesday night arrest. Bond is set at $50,000.
Police said Sumeet Dhawan, the suspect's husband of 15 years, called officers to the family home Wednesday evening after he returned from an out-of-town trip and could not find his wife. When officers arrived, the husband also expressed concern about the welfare of their only child, Arnav Dhawan. His father said he had received an email that the child had been absent from school for several days, according to a Frisco Police Department statement.
At that point, Pallavi Dhawan arrived at the house. Officers asked where the child was, but she asked to speak privately with her husband first, according to the statement. During the conversation, her husband became visibly upset, called officers over and pointed toward a bedroom door. They found the door locked.
"Officers asked Mrs. Dhawan if the child was in the room, and she nodded her head 'yes.' Officers asked her if she killed the child, and Mrs. Dhawan nodded her head 'yes,'" said police Sgt. Brad Merritt at an afternoon news conference.
Police said officers forced the door open and found the child's body in the tub, wrapped in a cloth up to his neck and with plastic bags in the tub around him.
Dhawan denied admitting to killing the child, said her attorney, David Finn of Dallas.
"We categorically deny that she indicated in any way or form that she was responsible for his death," he said.
Arnav had been "the center of their universe," Finn said of the family. "He was a happy, fun-loving boy."
Pallavi and Sumeet Dhawan are naturalized U.S. citizens, Finn said. Family members described the couple's only child and his mother as being "inseparable," he said.
An autopsy with toxicology tests has been ordered.
Finn said there are "a plethora of unanswered questions." For example, he said there were no signs of physical trauma or water in the boy's lungs.