Frisco Woman Confesses, Charged in 10-Year-Old Son's Murder: Police

Attorney for family says woman is not responsible for child's death

Police in Frisco say a woman has been arrested and charged with killing her 10-year-old son.

Officers found the boy's body in the tub at his home, wrapped in cloth up to his neck. Police said there were also several plastic bags found around the boy, but did not elaborate.

In a news conference Thursday, Sgt. Brad Merritt, with the Frisco Police Department, said the boy's father, Sumeed Dhawan, called police at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and said he was concerned about the welfare of his wife and child.

Sumeed told police he had just returned home to North Texas after traveling for three weeks and that he was concerned over the time it took his wife to return home and because he had also received an email from his son's school stating he had not been in attendace the last several days.

Sumeed told police that his wife had apparently left the home a couple of hours before he called them and he was growing more and more concerned about their welfare.

Officers arrived at the home and, as they talked with Sumeed, his wife returned home. Police asked Pallavi Dhawan about the location of Arnav and she said she wished to speak with her husband privately — which the officers allowed.

As Pallavi and Sumeed talked, the man grew noticeably upset, police said.  He then called the officers over and directed them toward a locked bathroom door.  

"Officers asked Mrs. Dhawan if the child was in the room, and she nodded her head `yes.' Officers asked her if she killed the child, and Mrs. Dhawan nodded her head `yes,"' said police Sgt. Brad Merritt, at an afternoon news conference.

Police said that Pallavi was arrested Wednesday and is said to be cooperating in the investigation. On Thursday, the boy's mother was charged with 1st degree murder, police said.

She was held in the Frisco City Jail on $50,000 bail, but bonded out of jail just after midnight on Friday. At this time, police have not released a motive.

Attorney: "Not So Fast" on Mother's Confession

Despite statements from the police, Dhawan denied admitting to killing the child, said her attorney, David Finn, of Dallas.

"We categorically deny that she indicated in any way or form that she was responsible for his death," he said.  "Any statement that my client nodded of affirmed that she was responsible for the child's death, not so fast."

Arnav had been "the center of their universe," Finn said of the family. "He was a happy, fun-loving boy."

Pallavi and Sumeet Dhawan are naturalized U.S. citizens, Finn said. Family members described the couple's only child and his mother as being "inseparable," he said.

Finn said there are "a plethora of unanswered questions." For example, he said there were no signs of physical trauma or water in the boy's lungs.

The Collin County medical examiner performed an autopsy on the boy Thursday, though the findings have not yet been released.

The Frisco ISD said Thursday morning that Arnav was in the fifth grade at Isbell Elementary School. The district said additional counselors will be at the school on Thursday and Friday as needed.  A letter about the death has already been released to parents to notify them about the death.

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