Pregnant N.J. Restauranteur Who Appeared on MasterChef India Killed in Apparent Murder-Suicide
A pregnant New Jersey restaurant owner who was once a finalist on the TV competition MasterChef India was found dead on Sunday, and authorities say she’s a victim of an apparent murder-suicide.
Garima Kothari, 35, was killed by her boyfriend in their Jersey City high-rise apartment over the weekend, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez told the Associated Press. She was five months pregnant.
According to NJ.com, the body of 37-year-old Manmohan Mall was pulled from the Hudson River on Sunday morning at approximately 7 a.m. Shortly afterward, authorities found Kothari’s body in the apartment she shared with Mall. She had suffered multiple upper body injuries.
Both bodies were transported to the medical examiner’s office. After an autopsy, Kothari’s death was ruled a homicide. Mall’s autopsy results are pending, but authorities believe that he first killed Kothari before killing himself.
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Kothari was the owner of an Indian restaurant named Nukkad, which she opened in February. After the coronavirus lockdown, she switched to pickup and delivery orders.
A onetime investment banker, Kothari became a chef several years ago. According to NJ 101.5 radio, she was a finalist on MasterChef India and then studied to become a pastry chef in France at Le Cordon Bleu Paris institute. She began a catering business before opening the restaurant.
Mall was a vice president at Deutsche Bank, according to his LinkedIn page which has since been deleted. He immigrated to the U.S. from India about ten years ago to get his master’s degree from Columbia University. Kothari came to the U.S. a few years after he did.
According to NJ.com, The Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit and the Jersey City Police Department are investigating this case. Although the deaths are currently considered a murder-suicide, the final determination will be made upon the complete findings of the medical examiner’s office.
Anyone with information on Mall or Kothari is asked to contact the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor at 201-915-1345, or to leave an anonymous tip on their official website at: http://www.hudsoncountyprosecutorsofficenj.org/homicide-tip/.