Indian authorities have arrested the CEO of an Indian AI ethics and audit startup for allegedly murdering her four-year old son.
Suhana Seth, founder of The Mindful AI Lab in India’s tech hub of Bengaluru, was detained in Karnataka state late on Monday when she was returning from the neighbouring state of Goa by taxi.
When police searched Seth’s belongings, they found the body of her son in her luggage, police said on Tuesday.
Seth had checked into a hotel with her son in Goa on Saturday but the boy was not with her when she checked out on Monday night, Goa police inspector Paresh Naik said.
Hotel cleaning staff found blood stains in the room after she checked out and informed the police, Naik added.
The police then contacted Suchana Seth through the taxi driver she was travelling with, he said. When asked about the whereabouts of her son, Seth informed officials that he was staying at a friend’s place.
Officials told media that the address she provided for her son turned out to be fake, following which the cops contacted the taxi driver again and asked him to take Seth to the nearest police station.
“When her luggage was opened, the child’s dead body was found,” North Goa Superintendent of Police Nidhin Valsan told reporters.
Goa police brought Seth back to the state, Valsan said, adding that her husband was in Indonesia and had been asked to come to India.
Seth’s husband returned to India on Wednesday and performed the last rites for the boy in Bengaluru.
Indian media reported on Wednesday that an autopsy of the child revealed he had been smothered. Seth had also attempted suicide at the hotel, media reports said.
The webpage of The Mindful AI Lab describes Seth as an AI ethics expert, data scientist and physicist. It also noted that Seth had been a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Centre at Harvard University.
In 2020, she was also named as one of the “100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics” by a US non-profit.
- Reuters, with additional inputs from Vishakha Saxena