Memorial service held for slain baby

Oct. 29, 2012 at 3:15 PM
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KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Mourners said a final goodbye to a baby girl who was abducted and killed in a botched kidnapping for ransom plan in Pennsylvania.

Saanvi Venna, 10 months, was buried Sunday following a public memorial service where family members struggled to come to terms with the girl's death. Venna's grandmother, Satayrathi Venna, was also killed in the incident, apparently trying to protect the baby.

Police have arrested a neighbor Raghunandan "Raghu" Yandamuri, 26, who allegedly kidnapped the girl. He had planned to extract $50,000 ransom because he was in financial trouble, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Police said he stuffed a handkerchief in the grandmother's mouth so she couldn't scream before cutting her throat. He then put the baby in a suitcase before abandoning her in the basement of the King of Prussia apartment complex he shared with the Venna family. Despite an intense hunt, she wasn't found in time.

Despite the tragedy, Saanvi's father, Venkata Konda "Siva" Venna, urged those mourning his daughter to keep their Hindu faith.

"I am a proud father to have a daughter like Saanvi," he said. "Don't lose your hearts. People are good."

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