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Indian American teen Arnav Uppalapati arrested for killing his mother

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Nalini Tellaprolu was found dead on December 17, 2015.

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The Indian American community in North Carolina is in a state of shock after the police took into custody Indian American teen Arnav Uppalapati for allegedly strangulated his mother to death at their residence in Cary.

On December 17, 2015, an emergency call was made by Arnav who said he found his mother, Nalini Tellaprolu, lying motionless in the garage after coming home from school.

An emergency officer who attended to the frantic call of Arnav found Tellaprolu dead in the garage. The police had noticed several bruises and scratches on her face, neck, torso and arms when they discovered the body.

Arnav had said that he last saw his mother alive while having dinner the day before. Arnav’s father Babu Uppalapati was out of the state on a business trip when the incident happened. He had tried reaching Tellaprolu over the phone but calls went unanswered and that was when he asked Arnav to go home and check on her.

The Cary Police on Friday arrested Arnav after a year for killing his mother who was an employee of Duke Medical Center.

Cary Police Capt. Randall Rhyne has declined to further discuss the motive behind the crime nor did he share the details of the evidence that put the teenager as the prime suspect.

Tellaprolu was found strangled using a plastic bag over her head and her feet were in the back seat of a car when the emergency team reached the crime scene. The police had ruled that incident as a homicide and have been conducting an investigation for the last one year.

They found no signs of unauthorized entry into the car nor to their home which was secured with an alarm system. They also found that the home alarm system that Tellaprolu usually activated on nights was turned off on the particular day of the incident.

The Indian American community especially the Telugu association in which Tellaprolu was an active member expressed shock on the turn of events.

“We’re shocked as a community,” Tellaprolu’s longtime friend, Padma Tummala told the News & Observer Fridayafternoon. “This was not something we expected to hear. She focused all of her energy on her kids.”

Satish Garimella, Morrisville town Councilman of Indian decent said to News-Observer, “It is devastating”. He also added that “There’s never been an incident where a son has taken the life of his own biological mother,” he told the newspaper.

“You want to get your kids together and be close to them. You want to know what went wrong and how can we prevent this from ever happening again?” he said.

“I still don’t believe it, this is completely out of the blue,” another family friend Vijay Javvadi reacted to the news.

Nalini Tellaprolu, who was a testing coordinator and quality assurance team leader at Duke University Health System, was active in community activities and also served on the board of directors of the Triangle Area Telugu Association.

Arnav would be tried on a class B1 felony charge, which is punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole, Cary police said in a statement.