Murder Victims Identified As Suspect's Wife, Three Kids

Shankar Nagappa Hangud walked into a police station in northern California and allegedly confessed to the killings, though he has subsequently pleaded not guilty to the murder charges against him. 

By Dorian Geiger
Shankar Nagappa Hangud Pd

A California man who allegedly turned himself in at a police station with a body in his car — and who authorities say later confessed to a quadruple homicide — has been charged with the murders of his wife and three children.

Police in Northern California arrested Shankar Nagappa Hangud, 53 after they say he strolled into Mount Shasta Police Department on Oct. 14 and admitted to killing four relatives.

Authorities had previously withheld the names and identities of Hangud’s alleged victims, but have now identified them as his immediate family. His wife, Jyothi Shankar, his daughter Gauri Hangud, 16, as well as his two sons, Varum Shankar, 20, and Nischal Hangud, 13, were all killed by their father in early October, officials said. Police have since notified family’s relatives in India.

Hangud was formally charged this week with four counts of murder 

Despite the victims' identities being disclosed, an official autopsy report is still pending, which police believe will solidify a timeline of the killings. 

“That would really kind of lock in the timeline for our investigators,” Roseville police spokesperson Rob Baquera told Oxygen.com. “Our detectives are still working to put together a timeline of the incident, working to figure out all the pieces. Of course, we’re going through the judicial process with Mr. Hangud who is in custody.”

Police previously told Oxygen.com that they suspect that Hangud killed his wife and teenage children over a “few days’ time span” in the Sacramento-area sometime between Oct. 6 and 7. 

“They likely perished at the home,” Baquera said. 

The California man then drove hours and hundreds of miles through Northern California with his eldest son Varum, allegedly killing the 20-year-old somewhere near the Oregon state line, before driving to Mount Shasta and confessing to the slayings in mid-October, Baquera said. 

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.” 

“This continues to be an incredibly tragic event for our community and extremely unprecedented for our area in Northern California,” Baquera added. “We’re certainly devastated as a community and trying to continue to solve the incident, putting the pieces together to figure out exactly what happened with the family.”

Authorities haven’t released a possible motive in the case.

Hangud worked as a data architect in California, according to his LinkedIn profile. At the time of his arrest, Hangud faced a federal tax lien of $178,603 from the Internal Revenue Service, the Sacramento Bee reported.

The 53-year-old has pleaded not guilty, despite his alleged confession, police said. His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 20 at 8:30 a.m., according to online court records. He’s being held without bail. 

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