HANOVER, Md. (WJZ) — The FBI is now helping in the hunt for a man investigators say killed his wife inside a Dunkin’ Donuts. Now a $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the case.
Meghan McCorkell reports investigators say they believe that murder suspect may have left the state of Maryland.
Wanted by the FBI. Federal agents across the country are now trying to find 24-year-old Bhadreshkumar Patel.
“We consider Mr. Patel armed and dangerous,” said FBI Special Agent Steve Vogt.
Investigators say Patel was working with his wife, 21-year-old Palak, inside a Dunkin’ Donuts in Hanover when the two got into a dispute. They say Patel stabbed his wife multiple times with a large kitchen knife.
“It was a very graphic and brutal crime scene,” said Anne Arundel County Police Lt. TJ Smith.
An officer came to the Dunkin’ Donuts less than half an hour later after someone reported no one was behind the counter. He found Palak Patel’s body in the kitchen. Her husband was gone.
Investigators now believe Patel came back to his apartment complex, which is right near the Dunkin’ Donuts, and got his passport, which is issued in India.
A cab driver tells authorities she picked up Patel near the Dunkin’ Donuts and drove him to a hotel in Newark, New Jersey–right near Newark International Airport.
Investigators say a surveillance camera captured Patel at Penn Station in Newark, but that’s where the trail runs cold.
FBI officials do not believe Patel was able to go to the airport and leave the country.
“If this person shows up, they’re not going to get on a flight. We have an active federal arrest warrant. They’ll be placed in custody,” Vogt said.
Now billboards with the murder suspect’s face are going up across the Northeast as authorities try to bring him to justice.
Investigators say Patel had only been in the country since the fall and previously had a listed address in New Jersey.
Patel is charged with first and second-degree murder, as well as unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.