A wealthy drug official was followed 50 miles from a casino in Pennsylvania to his New Jersey home where he was killed in an attempted robbery while his wife and daughter slept, according to police.
Sree Ranga Aravapalli, 54, cashed in his big night’s winnings — about $10,000 — in the early hours of Tuesday morning at the Parx Casino in Bensalem when he was spotted with the loot by 27-year-old Jekai Reid-John, of Norristown, Pennsylvania. .
Red John, who did not know Aravapalli, followed the CEO in his car as he returned to his quiet and posh neighborhood in Plainsboro, New Jersey, According to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office.
Shortly after 3:30 a.m., Plainsboro police responded to a report of shootings in the normally sleeping Aravapalli neighborhood, officials said.
Police found Aravapalli at the scene with several gunshot wounds. Authorities said he was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Investigators decided it was an attempted burglary.
A camera at a nearby farm captured footage of Avarabali driving home early in the morning, with Red John behind him near the police. He told NBC 4. The same camera later caught him driving in reverse.
Red John was arrested and charged Tuesday in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, for first-degree murder. The arrest came on the same day that Avarappally’s family members and friends mourned at Avrapalli’s funeral at a cemetery in South Brunswick, NBC reported.
Police said more charges were likely. The suspect has been arrested in Pennsylvania as he is still awaiting an extradition hearing. The cops said that when he is sent to New Jersey, he will be deposited at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center.
Avarabelli has served as CEO of Aurex Labs in East Windsor for the past seven and a half years, According to his LinkedIn profile.
Parx Casino CEO Eric Hausler released a statement saying that his company is cooperating with law enforcement in its investigation.
“We are deeply saddened by the report that earlier this week a Parx Casino customer fell victim to a murder in his home after returning from a visit to the casino. We have learned that law enforcement officials stopped a suspect who followed the victim from the casino to his home that night.
Parx Casino fully cooperates with and will continue to do so with local and state law enforcement agencies in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the victim at this very difficult time.”
Police Chief Frederick Tavener offered his condolences to the Avarabali family, who are reported to be well known in the local community.
“I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the Aravapalli family for their tragic loss. This is an unexpected and disturbing event for their families, friends and our entire community.” He said in a statement Wednesday.
Neighbors were shocked by the violence.
“No one wins at something like this. How can the person who did this think they can get away with it? Why would they kill him?” Abhikanit Kar, Plainsboro ABC 6 . said. “Never expect this. We were shocked to learn what happened.”