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FRISCO -- There appears to be one crucial piece of evidence Frisco police are using to build case against Pallavi Dhawan, who they say murdered her 10-year-old son, Arnav.

'Officers asked her if she had killed the child, and she nodded her head 'yes,'' Sgt. Brad Merritt said during a news conference Thursday afternoon. He said she had also nodded 'yes' when asked if the child was in a locked room.

Police kicked in the door and found Arnav's body in a bathtub.

'He was wrapped up to his neck in cloth,' Merritt explained, 'and then he had plastic bags on his body.'

But a family attorney disputed the police account Thursday.

Merritt said police were called to the home on Mountain View in Frisco by Arnav's father, Sumeet Dhawan. He told them he had just arrived back in town from a three-week trip, and when he did, he received e-mails from Isbell Elementary, alerting him to absences by his son.

He told police his wife had left their home shortly after he got there, and when she didn't come back for hours and he couldn't find his son, he got worried. As officers were at the home, Pallavi Dhawan appeared.

She and her husband spoke privately, Merritt said. 'During that conversation, Mr. Dhawan became noticeably upset. Officers were called over to Mr. Dhawan who pointed to a bedroom door.'

'Officers rushed toward the door and found it to be locked,' he said.

That's when, he said, Mrs. Dhawan admitted the boy was in the room, and nodded 'yes,' that she had killed him.

Attorney David Finn represents the Dhawan family. Thursday night, he told News 8 that both his client and her husband deny Pallavi nodded 'yes' when police asked her if she had killed Arnav.

Finn said she did nod 'yes' when asked if the boy's body was in the locked room. He added that Sumeet is standing by his wife.

Finn said Pallavi Dhawan 'was able to communicate,' but he called her 'very emotional.'

'According to everybody that I've spoken with, they were inseparable,' Finn said. 'He loved her, she loved him.'

Police charged Pallavi Dhawan with felony first-degree murder. Her bond was set at $50,000.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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