Indian-American restaurant owner and husband found dead in murder-suicide case

indica News Bureau-

A noted Indian American chef and MasterChef finalist in New Jersey and her husband were found dead last month, and the mystery of what happened is still under investigation, however, the initial investigation suspects it to be a murder-suicide as it appeared that she had been beaten to death.

The corpse of Garima Kothari owner of the restaurant Nukkad in Jersey City, New Jersey, was found at 7:15 a.m. in her apartment on Sunday, April 26, and the body of her husband, Man Mohan Mall, was found floating in the Hudson River nearby a short time later, around 8 a.m., when police responded to reports of a possible suicide attempt.

Born in Kolkata, India, Kothari, 35, was five months pregnant, revealed the autopsy.

Kothari and Mall’s trendy eatery that officially opened this February was forcibly closed last month due to COVID-19 restrictions. It’s not clear if the murder of the Masterchef finalist had something to do with stressors related to the closure.

According to Hudson County (New Jersey) Prosecutor Esther Suarez, Kothari was found dead at the couple’s luxury high-rise apartment on Christopher Columbus Drive in Jersey City on Sunday morning, having suffered trauma to her upper body.

The autopsy by the Regional Medical Examiner showed the cause of Kothari’s death as “multiple upper body injuries and the manner of death has been ruled homicide,” Suarez said in a statement Monday to The Sun. However, the cause of her husband’s death still needs to be investigated further, but authorities believe he first killed Kothari before killing himself.

The Hudson County Prosecutor’s office said, “The Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit is actively investigating this case with assistance from the Jersey City Police Department. While it appears at this time that these deaths are the result of a murder-suicide, the final determination is still pending the findings of the Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.”

According to The NY Daily News, the murdered woman and her husband are from India. Prior to becoming a chef, Kothari was an investment banker in India. According to her catering business website she studied to become a pastry chef at Le Cordon Bleu Institute in Paris and was a finalist in the 2010 season of ‘MasterChef India.’ Kothari began a catering business, curating events for celebrities such as the Clinton family, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cher, Deepak Chopra and Melinda Gates, before opening the restaurant with her husband.

Her husband, Mall, 37, immigrated to the United States a decade ago, attending Columbia University. He was a vice president at Deutsche Bank, according to his LinkedIn page which has since been deleted.

Kothari posted an update to her page announcing that she would be reopening the eatery for pickup and delivery orders on April 19, just days before her murder, The Independent reports.

“Yet another tough decision – Nukkad is up and running – even on Sunday’s now,” she wrote on Facebook. “I would so appreciate the support of the community at this point of time!”