DA: 10-month-old missing Saanvi Venna found dead; family friend, Raghunandan Yandamuri, charged

Plan to hold child for ransom went awry when grandmother fought back, officials say

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Published: Oct 26 2012 12:42:24 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 27 2012 07:03:45 AM EDT
Raghunandan Yandamuri and Saanvi Venna

Ten-month-old Saanvi Venna, who disappeared from her family's apartment in King of Prussia earlier this week, has been found dead. A family friend has been charged in the baby's death and that of her grandmother.

Saanvi had been missing since Monday, the day her 61-year-old grandmother was found murdered in the family's apartment in Upper Merion Twp., Montgomery Co.

A family friend, Raghunandan Yandamuri, planned to kidnap the girl and ransom her for $50,000, said District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, adding that the plan went awry when the grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, was killed trying to fight the man off.

Satyavathi Venna died of knife wounds to her neck and chest and had defensive wounds on her arms, Ferman said.

Ten copies of an identical ransom note were found inside the family's apartment, asking for the $50,000, Ferman said.

Yandamuri was arrested Friday on charges of first degree murder, kidnapping for a ransom, burglary, robbery and related charges, Ferman said.

Yandamuri was acquainted with the Vennas through the Indian community and knew them since the Vennas moved into the Marquis Apartments in June. He and his wife also lived in the apartment complex, Ferman said.

An autopsy is under way on the girl. Ferman said her body was found in the basement of another building in the apartment complex.