Pallavi Dhawan Describes Last Day of Son's Life in Affidavit

PallaviDhawan.jpg
When the Frisco Police Department discovered the body of 10-year-old Arnav Dhawan in his Frisco home, they said, he was lying in a dry bathtub with a cloth wrapped around him, surrounded by plastic bags. His mother, Pallavi Dhawan, had arranged him that way, and police claimed in a press conference shortly afterward that she nodded "yes" when they asked if she killed him.

But the case quickly seemed to fall apart.

Her husband vouched for her innocence, and the coroner more recently determined that Arnav most likely died of natural causes.

Yesterday Pallavi Dhawan sent police a sworn affidavit describing the last day of Arnav's life, his poor health and the cultural traditions that she was following in arranging his body after he died.

See also: Ten-year-old Arnav Dhawa's Autopsy Done While Police Sat on His Medical Records

Shortly after Arnav was born, Pallavi writes, his health problems became apparent. First he was diagnosed with jaundice, then, a few days later, he suffered a urinary tract infection. At 3 months old, doctors noticed "an usual head circumference." After more checkups, he was ultimately diagnosed with microcephaly -- basically, an abnormally small head. There's no cure and people with the condition are expected to live shorter lives, though the prognosis can vary widely from patient to patient.

The Dhawans moved back to India when he was 4, but returned to the States in 2012, settling in Frisco for the schools and medical care.

The last day that Pallavi Dhawan spent with her son "was just another normal day for Arnav," she writes, starting in school. That evening, they had dinner at Papa Lopez, went shopping at Toys R Us and then got a pizza from Taco Bell on the way home. She gave him a sweater to sleep in, read to him before bed and tucked him in. He had trouble falling asleep, she writes, so she slept in the room with him.

The next morning, he wouldn't wake up. Dhawan describes the horrific scene in detail: His body was cold and stiff. She describes being in denial and putting him in a bath to wake him up, but he just slumped down.

"After realizing that he was gone, I went in a state of shock and wanted only to know who would perform his last rites," the affidavit says. She describes dressing him and arranging his body on ice according to traditional Hindu custom, and then waiting for her husband, Sumeet, to come home from his business trip in India.

What happened after Sumeet got home is unclear in the affidavit. Pallavi says in the document that her husband "has a weak heart and I knew he would not be able to receive news of his son's demise well," so she asked him to sit down. While he waited, "I left for awhile," she writes.

She returned, apparently after locking the door to the room where Arnav's body was, to find police cars in front of the house. She broke the news to her husband in private, and then he called the police in. They asked if Arnav was in the locked room, and when she said yes, they broke the door down.

Afterward, "I was immediately separated from my husband, arrested, handcuffed, taken out to the back seat of the police car and they read me my rights," the affidavit says.

She explains the rituals of burying the dead in Hindu culture and concludes: "I loved Arnav with all of my heart and would never hut him in anyway, and I miss him very much."

The affidavit comes shortly after the Dhawan's attorney David Finn went to court to force the Frisco police to return the family car they had impounded in the investigation. The police said they would only give it back if the Dhawan's promised not to sue, as we reported.

Asked about the case last week, Frisco Mayor Maher Maso said he couldn't comment too much but defended the police work against Finn's complaints."I would expect no less from an attorney to try this in the press," he told Unfair Park at the time.
The full affidavit is below:

Final Pallavi Affidavit



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24 comments
judgefinn
judgefinn

Judge Becker sees through all of this bs. Put up or shut up. I begged them to take the case to the grand jury or at least present it to the Collin Co. DA office. Nope.

All citizens need to realize what can happen when the police make a decision and run with it. I know, it's somebody else's problem, until it's your problem.

Atticus rocks. 

patricktx
patricktx

'an usual head circumference'???

No, the affidavit says 'noticed an unusual head circumference'.

Momof4
Momof4

Silly police, don't they know that an Indian head nod and an American head nod have different meanings.

deep-sigh
deep-sigh

"I would expect no less from an attorney to try this in the press," uh...your cops started the trial by press by holding a dog and pony show press conference without all the facts. So either train them correctly or make sure at the next press conference they bring a dog and a pony.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Withheld the autopsy, harassed the family. Frisco PD smelled a rare murder/publicityvstunt for the department. Then when they got caught atvit, they couldn't fold the tents, just kept on. With luck they won't be able to dig out without a firing or demotion. Protect and Serve, my ass.

erica41129
erica41129

She killed her kid plain and simple! Don't try to use religion and cultural differences to get around it!

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Jeez, they had to break the door down too? I'm sure if they had a dog, the cops would have shot it.

judgefinn
judgefinn

@deep-sigh bring it on big boy. if they accused you of something you or your family didn't do, then grab your ankles and hope for the "best"

my dog, rudy, would not participate in this mess. I hope.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@ozonelarryb

Dunno if they still have them, but LA cops in the 80's had ball caps with the logo, and...

TO PROTECT AND SERVE

WHEN WE FUCKING FEEL LIKE IT

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Erica, you are a miracle. Longest living microcephaly case on record.

JFPO
JFPO

That's what you get for not being a white 'Murican in Frisco.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@JFPO

You gotta cut the cops a little break here, we can't really expect them to know every nuance of every religion. A dead body in a bathtub is a bit unusual.

The extortion regarding the car though - bullshit.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@tpfknap

They'll now have to pass an ordinance against locked doors.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@hotdogthatshit

Yeah, sometimes cops just don't know when to shut the hell up. This is one of those times.

hotdogthatshit
hotdogthatshit

@TheRuddSki You're right, but at the same time the cops should be smart enough that if they dont have all the facts they know to not hold a press conference accusing someone of murder.  Its just shitty police doing shitty work no matter how you look at it.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@tpfkap

We give Frisco cops so much deserved crap, I just thought I'd make a stab at fair & balanced.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  

True, there are some very weird people out there.  I'll stick with the premise that the Barney Fifes of the FPD got all excited when they thought that they had a big time cult murder on their hands.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@tpfkap

...wouldn't she try to hide or dispose of the body...

Not necessarily, people do weird stuff, live with corpses for years, stash dead babies in the garage. On finding the body, the cops apparently mistakenly believed she affirmed that she had killed the kid - the cultural head-nod thing.

I believe they were within logic to take her in at that point. A dead body, someone affirming "they did it" in their eyes. The investigation can't be quite that on-the-spot.

I'm unclear on one issue, has she been released?

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  

Rudd, a little common sense is needed.  If it was a murder, wouldn't she try to hide or dispose of the body?  Instead, she was trying her best to preserve the body.  Her affidavit makes this pretty clear and a little investigation by the detectives would have confirmed this.

In a homicide investigation you don't start off by assuming murder.  The facts are gathered, then a charge determination is made.

Additionally, since the death did occur outside of the care of a physician, a cause of death determination does need to be done by the county medical examiner.  An actual autopsy may or may not need to be done.

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