A man accused of killing a baby and her grandmother during a botched kidnapping and ransom scheme appeared in court on Wednesday.
Raghunandan Yandamuri, 26, is accused of murdering 10-month-old Saanvi Venna and her grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, 61, last month. It happened on October 22, at the Marquis Apartment complex on the 200 block of West Dekalb Pike in Upper Merion, where both the Venna family and Yandamuri live.
Police believe Yandamuri went to the apartment with the intention of kidnapping Saanvi and holding her for ransom. But police say Satyavathi, who was babysitting the child, fought for her granddaughter and was fatally stabbed by Yandamuri. During the struggle Saanvi cried and Yandamuri put a handkerchief in her mouth, wrapped her in a towel and put her in a suitcase, according to investigators. He then allegedly left the suitcase in the basement of one of the apartment buildings.
Police issued an amber alert for the child. According to investigators, Yandamuri aided in family searches for Saanvi, printed missing flyers and waited with family members at Upper Merion Police, offering support.
On October 26, police found the baby’s body in the basement of the apartment building. They arrested Yandamuri and say they found a ransom note in the apartment complex demanding $50,000. Police believe Yandamuri acted alone. He is charged with murder, kidnapping, robbery, theft and abuse of corpse. He appeared in court this morning for a preliminary hearing at 9:30 a.m.