Police ask FBI for assistance in campus slaying case

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 20, 2007 at 11:23 p.m.

University of Florida Police haven't given up on seeing a suspect face trial in the slaying of college graduate assistant Sudheer Satti and are seeking outside help in the case.

In the fall, the agency forwarded the FBI information gathered in the stabbing death of the 24-year-old, found inside his UF apartment at Maguire Village on Jan. 4, 2004, police reported last week.

"We consider this an open case, and we continue to look at new ways to validate our investigation," UF Police Lt. Darren Baxley said about the decision to have the FBI look into the case. "I'm a firm believer that the more people you have looking at the problem, you get a fresh perspective. We're hoping that they might see something that we didn't."

In spite of an FBI review, Baxley said he remains convinced the right suspect in the case has an arrest warrant pending against him.

Praveen Vedam, 28, a friend and former roommate of Satti, is wanted in the case.

"There's nothing that I have seen or any evidence that I have reviewed that would change my opinion at this point," Baxley said about police seeking Vedam's arrest.

Vedam originally was arrested weeks after Satti's death and charged with murder and theft. Officers had located Satti's missing computer and computer case at Vedam's workplace.

But in late 2004, charges against Vedam were dropped, with a judge citing insufficient evidence.

Then in early 2005, prosecutors said they had more evidence against Vedam and obtained a new indictment for murder against him. The new evidence, they reported, was based on an analysis of blood found on Satti's computer case.

With the initial charges dismissed against him, Vedam was free to leave the area. He has not been located since, although Baxley said police believe he returned to his home in India.

In an interview after his arrest weeks after the murder, Vedam maintained his innocence in the case and said he hoped police would soon locate the real killer.

Any effort to extradite Vedam from India would be limited, Baxley said, because the United States does not have an extradition treaty covering murder with that country.

In addition to the FBI review, Baxley said investigators also were contacted by an anonymous person several weeks ago who claimed to have new information in the case. That person has not contacted them since.

Officers want the caller to get back in touch with them, Baxley said.

"We think there is additional information out there that people may know. Obviously there's at least one person who believes they have information," Baxley said.

UF police don't have a specific time frame for when the FBI will get back to them with an analysis.

The FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit assists law enforcement agencies by reviewing cases and "applying case experience, research and training to complex and time-sensitive crimes," according to the agency.

Lise Fisher can be reached at (352) 374-5092 or fisherl@gvillesun.com.

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