A man drove several hours through California — allegedly with a relative’s body in his car — before strolling into a police station and turning himself in for the alleged murders of multiple family members at his Sacramento home.
Shankar Nagappa Hangud, 53, is accused of killing four of his relatives, police said in a statement Tuesday.
Hangud drove to Mount Shasta Police Department in northern California Monday and confessed to killing a man whose body was found in his red Mazda sedan, officials said. He also allegedly told detectives he'd murdered other family members at his home in Roseville, about 200 miles south of Mount Shasta.
“He freely walked in and admitted to what he had done,” said Rob Baquera, a public information officer for the Roseville Police Department, told Oxygen.com.
Roseville Police subsequently discovered three more bodies at Hangud’s apartment complex. The victims, police said, included two adults and two juveniles. The victims' identities and cause of death haven’t been released; a coroner’s report is pending. However, law enforcement believe the they were related to Hangud.
Investigators conducted an “extensive interview” with the 53-year-old but noted the timeline of the killings is murky. They believe the murders were spaced out over a period of days.
“It appears the victims were killed by this suspect over a few days’ time span, we’re still working to put that timeline together,” police added.
Authorities don't yet have a motive for the killings.
“The motive is something I think you’re going find that comes out as a result of the investigation,” Roseville police captain Josh Simon said at a press conference this week.
“There are crime scenes that have been processed, the suspect has been interviewed, but there’s a lot of stones that have been unturned that these detectives still need to look into before making a real determination about what the motivation was, what led the suspect to do the things that he did,” Simon added.
But at some point in the past week, police believe, Hangud left his Roseville residence with the murder victim found in his Mazda, who police noted was of East Indian descent. They drove from Roseville to unknown destinations in Northern California before arriving in Mount Shasta. It’s unclear if the victim was killed in Roseville or while driving through Northern California but police suspect the man was alive when the pair departed Hangud’s home.
“That part is unknown but we believe he was alive,” Baquera, the police spokesperson, said.
“We currently don’t have the autopsy result that would say exactly when he passed,” he added. "We have a strong suspicion was alive when they left the house in Roseville and they left the house together in Roseville.”
Hangud worked as a data architect, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Baquera said that Roseville, a small city about 20 miles northeast of Sacramento, has a low murder rate. He called the quadruple homicide “extremely unprecedented.”
“Roseville is an extremely safe, family-oriented community,” officials also stated. “This incident has touched the lives of many people throughout the area.”
Hangud was booked into a Placer County jail and is expected to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon. He’s currently being held without bail.
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