Pune, Nov 7 IANS | 2 years ago

After nearly a week-long hunt, police Thursday recovered the bodies of three missing advertising professionals, including a woman, from a river near here in Maharashtra, an official said.

"We have found the missing vehicle along with the bodies of three people from the Neera river today (Thursday). Prima facie it could have been an accident but further investigations are on," an official of Rajgad police station, around 30 km from here, told IANS.

The bodies were identified as those of Shruti Chandwani (26), Pranav Lele (30) and Sahil Qureshi.

On Wednesday evening, police recovered the body of their colleague, Chintan C. Buch (26), from near the river bank.

Police said it was not clear how Buch did not drown in the river when the car sank in it. He was travelling with his three colleagues from Pune.

The accident occurred Nov 1 when the four professionals started from Pune to Goa for the Diwali festival.

Shortly after they crossed the Khed-Shivpur toll post in their car, they seemed to have disappeared and their mobile phones were found switched off.

The sole woman in the vehicle, Chandwani, was to get off at Kolhapur to join her family for Diwali while the others planned to continue onward to Goa, the temple town Gokarna in Karnataka and later for Mahabaleshwar hill station in Maharashtra on the return leg of their journey.

Their frantic families contacted police for help while the victims' company organised aerial sorties in a hired helicopter to locate the missing car and to trace them out.

Pune police sought help from their counterparts in Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur, Raigad and Ratnagiri districts to help in the search, but drew a blank.

One of the victims, Buch, who hailed from Vadodara in Gujarat, was engaged and was planning to get married next month.

(Posted on 07-11-2013)