A senior citizen was found dead in the fire escape on the seventh floor of her building in Powai on Saturday morning. Police said prima facie, Laxmi Rout (70) is suspected to have committed suicide.

They said the deceased lived with her family on the 17th floor of Maple Leaf building in Raheja Vihar, Powai. According to them, Ms. Rout said she would be taking a bath around 9 a.m. A short while later, family members noticed she wasn’t in the house, and began looking for her. In her statement to the police, her daughter-in-law Rupamita said she initially thought Ms. Rout was out collecting flowers for her daily prayers. Around 10 a.m. the building’s garbage collector informed them that she had been found dead in the seventh-floor fire escape.

Police said bloodstains were found on the 15th floor, leading them to suspect she might have hurt herself before her end in the fire escape. She was taken to Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar, where she was declared ‘dead before admission’.

‘She was normal’

Ms. Rout’s relatives told the police that she was behaving normally in the morning. “She asked for mangoes, saying she hadn’t had enough this season and had also spoken to her daughter-in-law about the lunch menu,” an officer at Powai police station said.

Police Inspector Sachin Wagh, Powai police station, said, “At this stage, it appears to be a suicide, but we haven’t found a suicide note.Ms. Rout’s relatives said she had no reason to take the extreme step. We are talking to the maids, family members, watchmen and neighbours to identify eyewitnesses if any, and are examining the building’s CCTV footage.”

Ms. Rout leaves behind her husband, son, daughter-in-law and grandson. “Her body is being taken to Odisha for last rites, as she is a native of Bhubaneswar,” her neigbour K.M. Reddy said. Police have registered an Accidental Death Report in the case.

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