Indian American teenager in North Carolina charged with murder of his mother

Cary, North Carolina teen Arnav Uppalapati, 17, arrested by police March 17, and charged with the strangling death of his mother. (Police photo)

A 17-year old Indian-American was arrested March 17, in Cary, North Carolina, and charged with the murder of his mother.

Police accused Arnav Uppalapati with strangling his mother Nalini Tellaprolu, 51, on Dec. 17, 2015. Tellaprolu worked at Duke Medical Center as a testing coordinator and quality assurance team leader, and according to local news reports, was well liked in the Wake County community. Uppalapati attended Green Hope High School at the time of the incident.

Morrisville town Councilman Satish Garimella told the News Observer there had never been a case where a son had killed his biological mother. There is a large Indian-origin community in the county, and Garimella indicated parents were torn about whether they were pressuring their children too much “to do their homework and stuff,” or giving them too much freedom.

Police have not revealed the motive for the alleged murder but that Uppalapati, one of Tellaprolu’s two children, was a suspect all along. According to community members, Tellaprolu’s husband Babu Mahesh Uppalapati was probably also in shock at the arrest of his son.

On the day Tellaprolu was killed, the then 16-year old accused called 911 and told the dispatcher he came home from school to find his mother lying dead on the garage floor. The mother’s body was found with a plastic bag over her head and her feet in the back seat of the car, according to reports. The teenager told police he last saw his mother at dinner the night before and that he left for school in the morning without seeing her and returned to find her body at 3:20 pm. The father, who was away on a business trip, could not reach his wife and told detectives he called his son and told him to go home right away and check on his mother.



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