Austin, TX - A man is in a medically-induced coma in a hospital burn unit after his wife allegedly used a ruse of giving him a “hot oil massage” to douse him in gasoline and light him up. Police identified multiple ways that they believe she attempted to keep him from getting aid.
On Tuesday night, police responded to a disturbance call at the apartment that Shriya Biman Patel, 25, shared with her husband. Police say they found a naked man lying on the floor screaming in pain with severe burns over 70% of his body. Patel was also in the apartment when they arrived.
According to the victim, he had undressed and gotten into the bathtub under the guise of a promise by his wife to give him a hot oil massage. Investigators found candles placed around the bathroom presumably to create a romantic ambiance. The victim said, then – when he entered the tub – Patel poured what the man believed to be oil on him. He told investigators the next thing he knew, he was on fire.
Investigators reported that they believe Patel locked the bathroom door because it appeared as if the victim had to kick it open to escape. They also reported finding the smoke detectors deactivated and the sprinkler heads inside the apartment wrapped in tape and plastic. Police have recovered Wal-mart surveillance footage showing Patel buying candles and tape.
Firefighters also found a ten gallon white container filled with what they believe to be gasoline inside the apartment.
The man was transported to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio with severe burns to over 70 percent of his body. His skin was reportedly falling off in several places and he suffered burns to his air passages. Although it appears he wasn’t using them at all for smelling things, officials have said that burned air passages are typically a fatal injury.
Patel told police her husband doused himself with the gasoline and set himself on fire. Free Tibet! Seriously, as lame as that suggestion is, it beats the “petroleum products confuse me” defense.
Investigators say the couple has been married for one year, but Patel had only been in the country for seven days. Patel is being held on a $500,000 bond charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and first degree felony arson.
Now… this could have been a Francine Hughes maneuver. Who knows?! But damn! Hot Damn! As much as Morbid hates the thought of getting eaten… that’s how much I hate the thought of dying by fire.Tags: Arson, Assault, immolation, massage, Shriya Patel, Texas