Mumbai: Man lies to wife about COVID-19, suicide to be with girlfriend

After searching for a month-and-a-half, Vashi police tracked down a 28-year-old man who disappeared after making a 'final' call to his wife saying he had COVID-19 but had actually run away with his lover.

The police started tracing Manish Mishra after his brother-in-law registered a missing person case a month-and-a-half ago.

Mishra was found in Indore where he was living with his lover. He was brought to Navi Mumbai and handed over to his family.

A Taloja resident, Mishra was working at a logistics company at JNPT, Uran. On the morning of July 24, he had left for work as usual.

But at night, he called his wife crying, saying he tested positive for COVID-19 at Vashi lab, that he did not want to live anymore and disconnected the call. The phone was then switched off.

"We traced his cellphone's location to two places — Vashi and Airoli. We tracked his motorcycle and backpack in Sector 17, Vashi. None of the labs had tested anyone with his name," said an officer. All police stations and fishermen were told to keep an eye out for dead bodies.

"Based on the last cell phone location in Airoli, we scanned all CCTV camera footage from the area and found him getting into a car. A team tracked its owner to Ratnagiri. Meanwhile, we were also constantly questioning his friends and family. We came to know that he was having an extramarital affair. With the help of information provided by friends, we tracked him in Bhawarkua, Indore in Madhya Pradesh," said Sanjeev Dhumal, senior inspector of Vashi police.

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"Mishra was fired from work as he had indulged in a financial fraud recently. He had been having an affair for a couple of years and wanted to get rid of his wife and daughter. Which is why he plotted his illness and suicide. We reunited him with his family after counselling," Dhumal said.