The gruesome killings of an Indian IT professional and her 6-year-old son in a New Jersey town has sent shock waves in the neighbourhood with the motive behind the murders still unknown.
Sasikala Narra, 38 and her son Anish Narra were killed on Friday inside their residence at the Fox Meadow Apartments in Maple Shade in New Jersey's Burlington County.
The two were found murdered when Sasikala's husband Narra Hanumanth Rao returned from work Thursday evening.
Officers from the Maple Shade Police Department were called to the Hamilton Road residence just after 9 pm by Rao after he found the bodies of his wife and son.
Authorities said no arrests have been made and the deaths are being investigated as homicides.
Preliminary investigation revealed that both victims were "stabbed multiple times."
Narras' close family friend Mohan Nannapaneni said in an ABC6 Action News report that Rao had called him shortly after finding his wife and son in a pool of blood.
"When he opened the house and he couldn't find his wife and son and then he called Anish his son and he didn't answer, so when he went to open the bedroom and then he found those two people ... dead and blood everywhere," said Nannapaneni.
Law enforcement officials have denied the killings were hate crime or a result of bias against the Indian origin of the victims, according to a statement provided to PTI by Burlington County Prosecutor's Office.
"Contrary to some media reports, at this point there is no indication that this is a hate crime connected to the fact that the victims are of Indian origin," the statement had said.
The killings have shocked the Maple Shade community, which has expressed concern and sadness over the murders.
"What kind of monster would come up and do something that scary?" said Lisa of Maple Shade in the report in ABC6 Action News.
"Someone is crazy. Someone is really, really crazy. Delusional, don't know what's going on in life," said Ashante Boorden of Maple Shade.
Alfred Maugeri of Maple Shade said in the report that it is saddening to see a child's life wiped out like that. "It's unbelievable," he said.
Neighbours said they want whoever is responsible for the crime to be found soon and prosecuted.
Neighbours who were in their homes around the time of the incident said they did not hear anything suspicious, the report added.
They described the Narras as wonderful people, especially little Anish.
"He was always happy... Smart little kid, too," said a neighbour who didn't wish to be identified.
Another neighbour Chris Davis said she heard Rao say "She's dead, she's dead! There's blood all over the place, She's dead!" as others tried to console him.
"This is sad, really said," said Iesha Zuniga, 26, a restaurant worker who had lived in the complex for more than a decade. We feel unsafe."
(With PTI inputs)