BALTIMORE (PIX11) -- The Baltimore Division of the FBI told PIX 11 News it’s received a dozen tips about the man who fled a Dunkin’ Donuts in Hanover, Maryland on April 12, shortly before his wife, 21-year-old Palak Bhadreskumar Patel, was found bludgeoned to death in the store’s kitchen.
So far, the tips have failed to turn up 24-year-old Bhadreshkumar Patel, who took a cab to Newark, New Jersey shortly after the murder.
The husband and wife had flown to the U.S. last September and briefly stayed in New Jersey, before starting work at the Dunkin’ Donuts store in Maryland.
Their visas expired at the end of March.
The FBI put a hold on the husband’s passport, after he fled Maryland, so there’s a strong belief he’s still in the United States — more than two weeks after his wife was killed.
PIX11 News retraced the husband’s flight, which started after a domestic incident inside the Dunkin’ Donuts on Sunday night, April 12.
The husband and wife were working alone in the store, before there was some kind of argument.
Lt. T.J. Smith of the Anne Arundel County Police in Maryland said, “It was a very graphic and brutal crime scene.”
The police were called to the Dunkin’ Donuts at 7657 Arundel Mills Boulevard in Hanover, after customers reported no employees were working the counter.
Patel’s wife was discovered dead on the kitchen floor. Her face had multiple blows that apparently came from a large kitchen knife.
A female taxi driver in Maryland told investigators she had picked up Patel near the Hanover Dunkin’ Donuts that Sunday night and drove him nearly two hundred miles to the “Best Western Plus” hotel in Newark, New Jersey, on the outskirts of Newark Liberty International Airport.
PIX11 News visited the hotel and learned that Patel checked in Monday, April 13, paying cash for his room. He was captured on surveillance footage at the front desk. He stayed one night and checked out about 10:40 a.m. on Tuesday, April 14.
PIX11 learned Patel took a white “courtesy van” to Newark Penn Station, about twenty minutes away. That was the last, reported sighting of him that’s been made public.
The 12 tips the FBI has received about Patel’s possible whereabouts follow a $20,000 reward being offered for information that leads to his capture.
It’s not clear whether Patel left town on a train, a bus, or in another kind of vehicle.
Patel and his wife came from Gujarat, India. It’s unlikely Patel would be able to escape to his homeland, because of that hold on his passport.
He has relatives in both the United States and India.
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.