The accused woman allegedly smothered her four-year-old son with a cloth or a pillow and stuffed his body in a bag before fleeing to Karnataka.
A tragic and shocking case of child abuse and betrayal has come to light in Goa, where the CEO of a start-up allegedly killed her four-year-old son and fled to Karnataka. The accused woman, Suchana Seth, is an AI ethics expert and data scientist with over 12 years of experience in mentoring data science teams, and scaling machine learning solutions at startups and industry research labs.
The motive behind the murder
According to the police, Seth checked in the service apartment on January 6 and stayed there till January 8 before leaving for Bengaluru in a taxi. Following her arrest, a court in Mapusa town of Goa on Tuesday remanded her in police custody for six days. The child’s father, Venkat Raman, who was in Jakarta (Indonesia), reached Hiriyur in Chitradurga on Tuesday night and took possession of his son’s body after postmortem.
The police have found two empty bottles (one big and another small) of a cough syrup in the room where Seth stayed. “The post-mortem conducted on the body has indicated the possibility that the child might have been smothered to death and there were no signs of struggle,” said a senior police officer. “We are examining the possibility if the woman gave a heavy dose of cough syrup to the child before putting him to death,” he added.
Enquiries with the service apartment staff revealed that Seth had asked them to buy a small bottle of cough syrup claiming she was having cough. The bigger bottle might have been carried by her. “It looks like a pre-planned murder,” he said.
The estranged relationship between mother and son
According to police sources, Seth has denied her involvement in the crime during interrogation and claimed that the child was already dead when she got up from sleep. “We don’t buy her theory. Further investigation will reveal the motive behind killing the child. As of now, we know that she and her husband were estranged because of which she might have done this,” said another senior police official.
Seth is married to Raman since 2010. They have no children together. However, Seth had adopted two children from an orphanage when she was working as an AI researcher at IIT Bombay. She had named them Aryan and Aarav. According to some reports, Raman had filed for divorce from Seth last year citing irreconcilable differences.
The impact on society
The case has shocked many people who knew Seth as an accomplished professional and a loving mother. Her LinkedIn profile shows that she has worked as an AI ethics expert at various organisations such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, Accenture, etc. She has also been involved in several social initiatives such as Teach for India, Code for India, etc.
Her colleagues have expressed their disbelief and sadness over her alleged crime. “She was one of my best friends at Google. She was always passionate about AI ethics and social impact. She never showed any signs of being abusive or violent towards anyone,” said Anjali Sharma, who worked with Seth at Google India.
Similarly, her former colleagues at Microsoft India said that they were unaware of any problems between her and Raman or any other family members. “She was always cheerful and friendly with everyone at Microsoft India. She was very talented and dedicated to her work,” said Rajesh Kumar Singh, who worked with Seth at Microsoft India.
The case has also raised questions about how such a horrific act could happen within such a respectable profession and family background. Some experts have suggested that there could be underlying psychological issues or trauma that could trigger such extreme behaviour from someone who seems otherwise normal.
The case of startup CEO’s son murder is one of the most disturbing cases ever reported in Goa’s history. It exposes the dark side of human nature where someone can commit such heinous acts against their own flesh without any remorse or reason.
The case also highlights the need for more awareness and prevention measures regarding child abuse and domestic violence among professionals who work with children or families.