Collin Count judge orders release of Dhawan family vehicle

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by JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on May 22, 2014 at 4:39 PM

FRISCO — The family of a Frisco mom accused of murder received a small victory in court.

A Collin County judge ordered Frisco police to return the family’s Lexus to the Dhawan family by May 30. The car has been in police custody for 114 days and is considered crucial evidence in the case of Pallavi Dhawan, the mother accused of killing her 10-year-old son, Arnav.

"First, to lose our child and then to have to go through all of this?" said Sumeet Dhawan, the boy's father. "It’s just unreal."

Arnav was found wrapped in plastic bags in ice in a bathtub. The family says Arnav died naturally and that Pallavi was preserving her son’s body.

“For us, Arnav is no case number like [the prosecution] were referring to," Dhawan said. "He was our flesh and blood and our lives started and ended with him."

The family wants the car back in the same condition it left their possession. There were concerns that the hard-drive was compromised. News 8 learned that the hard-drive was being analyzed by the secret service, a technology that was not available locally.

Frisco police sent WFAA this statement:

"We respect and will comply with Judge Becker’s decision to return the Dhawan’s vehicle to them by May 30. We also will await the stipulation agreement being drafted up by prosecutors to be signed by the defense in this case pertaining to chain of custody and authenticity issues regarding evidence from the Lexus SUV. We have attempted previously to release the Dhawan’s vehicle under a similar agreement and it was rejected by the defense. Frisco PD’s interest in this case is not about this vehicle, but rather about doing due diligence in the death investigation of Arnav Dhawan. We believe that information from the vehicle hard drive could provide key evidence in that investigation."

Frisco police still has the murder case and the district attorney's office is waiting to receive it. The family is hoping for a quick resolution on that front too. The family has asked the police department to either drop the case or take it to grand jury.

"No disrespect, put up or shut up," said David Finn, the family's attorney. "Its time has ended."

News 8 has learned the vehicle will be fixed at a local Lexus dealership. The judge says if it takes longer than May 30, the dealership will be responsible for covering any rental costs after that time. Judge Scott Becker hopes this will encourage the dealership to get the vehicle ready for the Dhawan family.

Email jpanicker@wfaa.com

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