A teenage woman, found stoned to death India, was the likely victim of an “honor killing” at the hands of her father and brother, police said recently.
After a brief investigation, authorities believe that Pratibha Khan was killed by her family members because she had fallen in love with a boy from a neighboring village and was believed to have brought dishonor to her family by doing so.
The Daily Mail reports the 19-year-old’s body was found outside of her home village in Uttar Pradesh, a state in the northern part of India.
Her friend Alia Modi, 18, made the grisly discovery.
“It was covered in blood and when I looked at the face it was so badly damaged I didn’t recognize it as Prabitha’s,” Modi is quoted as saying in the Mirror. “It was only later that I learned who it was and I was simply horrified.”
A policeman spokesman said an autopsy showed the cause of death was strangulation, but said the body showed signs of blunt force trauma as well.
“Perhaps to hide her identity, some of the blunt force injuries to her face were made after her death, but most weren’t,” the unnamed spokesman said.
Police now believe the teenager died at the hands of her 36-year-old brother, Pradeep, and her father, Jagpal, who is 65.
“An analysis of her mobile phone records pointed to the involvement of her family members, in particular the brother and father,” the spokesman said.
In an initial interrogation the girl’s brother reportedly said he believed his sister’s lover was responsible for her death.
“It was only later when we interrogated Pradeep and his father Jagpal separately that we were able to find inconsistencies in their statements,” the spokesman said. "Eventually they admitted that they had killed her because she was in love with another boy from a nearby village.
"It looks like the brother and father dragged her to the fields and assaulted her with bricks and stones. They then strangled her and went on to smash her face beyond recognition,” he added.
The girl’s other brother, 33-year-old Prabhat, reportedly said he wasn’t shocked by the alleged murder.
“I am neither sorry nor surprised that my sister is dead,” he is quoted as saying in both the Mirror and the Daily Mail. “If what people say is true, then I am not surprised that my father and brother killed her.”