Police: Parrot identified suspect in owner's killing

Feb. 28, 2014 at 12:55 PM

AGRA, India, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Police in India said a slain woman's pet parrot helped identify the woman's alleged killer by behaving strangely when the man was around.

Investigators said Neelam Sharma, 45, was found killed along with her pet dog at her home in Agra Feb. 20 and police were stumped for nearly a week until Sharma's widower, Vijay Sharma, told them the only witness to the crime, Hercule the parrot, had been acting strangely around his nephew, Ashutosh, the Times of India reported Friday.

"During discussions too, whenever Ashutosh's name was mentioned, the parrot would start screeching. This raised my suspicion and I informed the police," Sharma said.

Shalabh Mathur, senior superintendent of Agra police, said Ashutosh confessed to the killing during questioning.

"We checked his call details and took him in custody. He accepted his crime and informed us that he was accompanied by an accomplice. They had entered the house with the intention of taking away cash and other valuables," Mathur said.

Ashutosh allegedly told officers he killed his aunt when she spotted him during the crime and the dog was slain to silence the animal's barking. However, Hercule was silent during the crime and remained untouched.

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