A pregnant newly-wed was found strangled, hanged and burned alongside a fake suicide note accusing her husband of having an affair, an inquest heard yesterday.
Kuldeep Kaur Sidhu, 25, was discovered half naked with a rope around her neck following a fire at her home in Birmingham in May 2008.
The nursery nurse's killers, who are believed to have attempted to make her murder look like suicide, have never been caught.
Birmingham Coroner's Court heard that the Sikh family of Mrs Sidhu's accountant husband Baljinder were unhappy about their marriage six months earlier because his wife was from a lower caste.
But Mr Sidhu, who denied having an affair, said the couple were happy and had been trying for a baby.
He discovered his wife was six weeks pregnant from the results of her post-mortem examination,
he told the inquest.
The writer of the letter has never been traced, but handwriting experts ruled out Mr and Mrs Sidhu.
She had been strangled before a rope was tied around her neck and attached to an upstairs banister, it was claimed.
When the fire burnt through it, her body fell, the court heard. Pathologist Dr William Lawler said: 'The most likely explanation... is that the deceased died from manual-strangulation.
Attempts were then made to simulate death from hanging before the fire was started.'
In police interviews, Mr Sidhu denied having an affair and detectives found no evidence of this. He said his wife complained she was being stalked by someone on a bus, and he believed someone had been watching their house.
However, Detective Sergeant Andrew Houston, of West Midlands Police, told the court the circumstances of her death did not suggest a murder by strangers.
He said: 'The scene was elaborately set with Bacardi and whisky that was foreign to the house. The note was foreign to the house. There is no reason why a stranger would go in and set up such an elaborate scene.'
Mr Sidhu was arrested over the murder in October 2008, the court heard. His mother was arrested on suspicion of threats to kill in November 2007. Both were released without charge.
The inquest continues.