ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, MD — A Maryland man who allegedly stabbed his wife to death in the donut shop where they worked has been added to the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list.
Bhadreshkumar C. Patel, 26, has been charged with first- and second-degree murder for the 2015 killing of his wife, Palak Patel.
According to court documents, Palak, 21, was struck in the face with a large kitchen knife at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Arundel Mills Boulevard, and then stabbed several times — while customers were still in the restaurant.
Patel, a native of India, has been not seen or heard of since the morning after his wife’s death, when he took a cab from a New Jersey hotel to Newark Penn Station.
The brutal nature of the crime and the possibility that someone outside the United States knows where Patel is contributed to the decision to add him to the list, said Gordon Johnson, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore field office.
“The violence in this case was stark. It was heart-wrenching and it was a shock to our collective conscience of the police department,” said Police Chief Tim Altomare.
Investigators say they have reason to believe that Patel is still in the U.S., and that someone is helping him — either knowingly or unknowingly.
The Patels’ visas expired about a month before the deadly stabbing, and authorities say that they believe Palak Patel wanted to return to India — but her husband had other ideas.
“Palak had her whole life ahead of her,” Johnson said. “(She) was pursuing a master’s degree in commerce. Mr. Patel brutally took her life, her ambitions, and her dreams.”
Patel also faces a federal charge of fleeing to avoid prosecution.
If you have information regarding Patel — who should be considered armed and dangerous — contact your local FBI office or the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate, or submit a tip on the FBI’s website. There is a reward of up to $100,000.
Main photo: Bhadreshkumar C. Patel [Anne Arundel County Police]