PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police say a family friend killed a baby and her grandmother in a plan to extort a $50,000 ransom.
“At 4:30 this morning, the body of Saanvi Venna was found,” District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said.
It was the news no one wanted to hear.
For days, a statewide Amber Alert has been in effect for 10-month-old Saanvi Venna.
Monday, Venna’s grandmother was babysitting her at an apartment in Upper Merion Township, when the grandmother was murdered and Venna disappeared.
Friday, the baby’s body was found in the same apartment complex.
“It was found hidden inside of a sauna in the basement bathroom in the gymnasium in one of the Marquis apartment buildings,” Ferman said.
Police have arrested a friend of the family, 26-year-old Raghunandan Yandamuri.
“(Yandamuri) Placed himself here to support the family during the search for their child,” Ferman said. “Someone who actually printed flyers and handed them out. Someone who actually came to this police station during the course of this search.”
Police say this was part of a botched ransom kidnapping.
“When we arrived at the home Monday we found a ransom note,” Ferman said. “There were actually 10 identical copies of a ransom note, demanding $50,000.”
“The defendant said that he went to the home, he made an effort to kidnap the child, during the course of that event he took the life of her grandmother, he then left the building with the child suffocated with handkerchief in her mouth and stuffed her into a suitcase.”
Police say Yandamuri acted alone.
He’s charged with murder, kidnapping and robbery.