In a month that's brought us the tragic deaths of young girls Jessica Ridgeway and Autumn Pasquale, we have another bit of sad news. Little Saanvi Venna, the 10-month-old who was abducted while her grandmother was babysitting in Pennsylvania this week, has been found. And like her murdered grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, the little girl is dead.
But unlike Ridgeway or Pasquale, the person cops have arrested isn't some stranger. No, Raghunandan Yandamuri, the man police say murdered Saanvi's grandmother when he tried to abduct her, then later murdered the little girl, was someone the Venna family thought was their friend.
I honestly can't say which is worse: to have some stranger come along and destroy life as you know it or to have the person who rips the fabric of your life apart be someone you know, someone you trusted.
Neither makes any sense, but there's something insidious about the latter, isn't there? To think that someone you have been around many times before was thinking dark thoughts about you while you were carrying on like normal? To think that this person, this so-called friend, could see your life up close and personal and still have a compunction about destroying it?
Yandamuri lived just a few floors down from Venkata Konda Siva Venna and his wife, Chenchu Latha Punuru. He had seen the couple with their two kids. He knew that they were a family.
Yet cops say Yandamuri kidnapped Saanvi because he hoped to get a ransom from her family. He thought the parents -- who were both software engineers -- would cough up $50,000 for the 10-month-old, and he left a note demanding the money in the family apartment. But something seems to have gone wrong during the actual kidnapping. When Saanvi's grandmother put up a fight for the baby -- because really, what grandmother wouldn't? -- he allegedly killed her. Then cops say he suffocated Saanvi and stuffed her body in a suitcase.
And through all this, he had to know what he was doing to these people, these people who to him weren't nameless and faceless but were actually neighbors, "friends" even. That's a kind of evil that is unmatchable.
Have you been following this case? What do you think of the "friend" who is accused here?
Image via Amber Alert