Ex-roommate charged with theft in UF student's slaying

Man allegedly used missing laptop

Published: Friday, January 23, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 23, 2004 at 12:46 a.m.
A friend and former roommate of University of Florida homicide victim Sudheer Satti was charged with grand theft Thursday afternoon after police said a computer stolen from Satti's apartment was used after his death at a local business where his friend worked.
Praveen Kumar Vedam, 25, of 999 SW 16th Ave. Apt. 17, was charged with grand theft.
Vedam was a friend of Satti's and the only person Satti's family in India has talked with every day, said Satti's brother, Harish.
Satti, 24, was found Jan. 4 slain in his bedroom at his campus apartment in Maguire Village off SW 34th Street.
Satti had been stabbed multiple times, police have reported. Initial reports put the number of wounds at about 30 to the head and torso, sources familiar with the case have said.
In addition to the missing Dell Inspiron laptop, police also discovered several other items were missing from his apartment, including a stereo, a home theater system, a speakerphone, a cordless phone, a VCR and a DVD player, University Police have said.
University Police traced the missing computer's activity using its "MAC" (media access controller) address, which is an individual number assigned to a computer. They found Satti's computer was used between Jan. 9 and Jan. 11 - nearly a week after Satti was found dead.
Investigators found that Satti's computer was used to access the Internet from Nanoptics, 3014 NE 21st Way, where Vedam is a software programmer.
One of Vedam's bosses at Nanoptics told police he saw Vedam using a Dell Inspiron laptop, the report states.
Police searched Nanoptics on Jan. 16. They didn't find the missing laptop but found a laptop carrying case believed to belong to Satti "hidden" in an air duct in the attic of the business, the report said.
Police also discovered that Satti's e-mail accounts had been used at least five times on Jan. 5, the day after Satti was found dead, according to the arrest report.
Five of the IP accounts used were leased to Roopnath Grandhi via a DSL account, the report states. Grandhi lives at 999 SW 16th Ave. Apt. 17, along with Vedam and a second roommate, Surya Lingamallu.
Lingamallu told police Vedam often used his computer to access the Internet and that they all shared Grandhi's DSL account, the report states.
After talking with the State Attorney's Office, UPD charged Vedam with grand theft.
Vedam denied ever having Satti's laptop, the report states. He told authorities the last time he saw it was when he slept over at Satti's apartment on Dec. 30.
Vedam was a friend and former roommate of Satti's. Vedam was an eighth-year engineering student last year, according to the UF directory.
At Satti's memorial service last week, Vedam read a message from Satti's family, thanking his friends and UF for their support.
A couple of UF students who worked with Vedam on Satti's memorial were shocked when told of Vedam's arrest on the theft charge.
"He seemed like a soft-spoken person," said Vivek Pahariya, vice president of the Indian Student Association.
University Police are still investigating Satti's death.
Sun staff writers Lise Fisher and Rachel Kipp contributed to this report. Kathy Ciotola can be reached at 338-3109 or ciotolk@gvillesun.com.

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