Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Winston-Salem, NC: NC Man, Estranged Wife Dead After Murder-Suicide

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indiawest.com July 04, 2011 01:30:00 PM

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Police said a man and his estranged wife are both dead after a murder-suicide in Winston-Salem, according to a report on the Web site of WGHP, a Fox affiliate television channel that serves Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem areas in North Carolina.

Shots were heard coming from a home at 5660 Stone Crossing Drive near Country Club Drive just minutes after 2 p.m. June 19.

Responding officers found Monika Mittal, 33, shot to death outside the front door of her home, Lt. Rob Cozart with Winston-Salem Police said.

A SWAT team responded to the scene and attempted to communicate with Sandeep Mittal, 42, who was still inside the home.

The SWAT team forced their way inside around 4 p.m. and found Sandeep had fatally shot himself, Cozart said.

Detectives allege Sandeep, who just had a birthday four days ago, shot his estranged wife multiple times before turning the gun on himself.

The Indian American couple's 5-year-old daughter was inside the home while the incident took place, Cozart said.

The girl, who was not physically injured, is now in custody of Child Protective Services.

The couple had been living together until about two months ago and were recently going through a domestic dispute, Cozart said.

Neighbors of Monika described her as pleasant, saying she often walked through the neighborhood with the couple's 5-year-old daughter, reports the Winston-Salem Journal newspaper.

Monika would wave to her neighbor, Natasha Williams, during those walks.

"She was nice and really sweet," Williams said.

The couple and their daughter had moved into the large two-story house about six months ago, Williams said.

Monika moved out of the house about two months ago, taking an apartment on Reynolda Road, police and Natasha Williams said.

Before the fatal incident, police had never been called to the couple's home, and the couple, both immigrants from India, had no history of domestic violence, police Capt. David Clayton said.

Neighbors said they never saw or heard the couple arguing.

"We are worried about the little girl," Williams said. "We have a child the same age as that child. Losing both of her parents is unnerving."

Neighbor Patrick Usher said he would see Monika Mittal and her daughter when he jogged through the neighborhood.

"She was quiet and mild-mannered," Usher said of Monika Mittal.

Sandeep Mittal was a computer software engineer. Monika Mittal also had a job, Clayton said. It was unclear what she did.

Williams said cars have been going by the Mittals' house, trying to catch a glimpse of the murder scene.

"This is a nice neighborhood," Williams said. "We have a lot of kids here, and everyone generally gets along with everyone else. We don't bother anyone."

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