More evidence in Patel murder released


The call, released Tuesday by Cary police, took place early on the morning of January 26th. In it, Harish Patel claimed that he was "dying." He tells the 911 operator that he is intoxicated.

In search warrants released to the public over the past few days investigators disclose that they have surveillance video of Patel buying gasoline and a gas can at a convenience store near his Cary apartment. That was January 16, the same day the body of his estranged wife was found burning on the side of Interstate-85 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.

Vanlata Patel filed for divorce from her husband of eight years, last year. In divorce papers she claimed that much of the more than $400,000 the couple had in a Swiss bank account was her money.

Harish Patel was charged with his wife's murder on February 11.

In the 911 call, the operator struggles to get Patel to speak. Patel says repeatedly, "I'm dying." Apparently police arrive on the scene quickly. One officer can be heard in the background saying, "He's trying to kill himself." They tell Patel that "EMS is coming."

Listen to the 911 tape

In the most recent search warrant, which was sealed for 30-days by a judge's order, investigators say that those police officers who were first on the scene found evidence that might be related to Vanlata Patel's murder. Those items include a knife and a document addressed to one of the detectives assigned to the murder investigation.

Patel has been charged with felony murder, a class A felony punishable by death or life imprisonment without parole. During his first court appearance, Patel told a judge he couldn't afford an attorney.

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