Harish Purushottamdas Patel, 60, of Cary is charged with the murder of his estranged wife, Vanlata Patel, 57, whose charred remains were found on January 16 just off I-85 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.
Patel's son reported her missing to the Cary Police Department on January 17 after she failed to board a flight to visit him in Canada. Police issued a news release about Patel's disappearance, and on January 20 the Mecklenburg County, VA Sheriff's Office contacted the Cary Police Department about a possible connection between the two incidents after seeing the story on area media outlets.
The Patels had been married since 1996 and had adult children from previous marriages. The couple was in the process of getting a divorce.