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Woman Accused in Son's Death, Husband Found Dead in Texas Home

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More than 24 hours after two bodies were discovered at the Frisco home where a mother was accused of killing her son earlier this year, there are still unanswered questions. But now new documents shed light on how the case all began. (Published Thursday, Sep 4, 2014)

The two bodies found Wednesday at the North Texas home of a woman charged in her 10-year-old son's death were identified Thursday as the mother and her husband, the boy's father.

Pallavi Dhawan, 39, and her husband Sumeet Dhawan, 43, were both found dead at their Frisco home, she in the backyard and he inside the house, authorities said. The medical examiner's office confirmed their identities Thursday.

“It’s terrible for the family," neighbor Sam Perry said. "It’s terrible that this outcome might have come to this. You don’t ever want to see that happen.”

Police had responded Wednesday to a 911 call about a possible drowning at the Dhawans' home in the 15000 block of Mountain View Lane at at about 3:30 p.m. There, they found a woman's body in the back yard and a man's body inside the house, police said.

Pallavi Dhawan had been charged in January with the murder of her son Arnav Dhawan, after police found his body in a bathtub in the home, surrounded by bags of melting ice.

All along Pallavi has maintained her innocence and said she never hurt her son, who had special needs — a sentiment that was echoed in her sworn affidavit.

The Dhawans said the boy, who had several underlying medical conditions, had died of natural causes, and Pallavi was preserving her son's corpse until Sumeet returned home from a business trip in India. In their culture, the family said, the father must deliver a final blessing.

A grand jury had just begun to hear her case, with Arnav's father Sumeet Dhawan providing testimony last week.

The Dhawans' attorney David Finn said he thought it went "extremely well for us." Finn said he spoke with the family Friday and texted them on Saturday and recalled nothing amiss. Asked if the couple had grown despondent, Finn said, "in fact, just the opposite."

Finn said Arnav had several underlying medical conditions, including a cyst in his brain and a condition that causes a person to develop an undersized head and that can shorten life expectancy.

The medical examiner said the boy's cause of death was undetermined, with natural disease being the most likely factor.

The Frisco Police Department, however, continued to pursue a homicide investigation against the boy's mother. Finn said the case against his client is weak and that Frisco police have no evidence other than a perceived confession.

He noted two officers, responding to a welfare call at the home, asked Pallavi Dhawan if she killed her son. According to the officers, they saw her nod, they believed, indicating the answer was "yes."

Finn said there was no proof that happened, since the body microphones attached to the officers' uniforms were not activated until after Pallavi Dhawan's arrest.

Finn called the couple two of the nicest people in the world Wednesday, and said he really believed in their innocence.

"I'm absolutely heartbroken," he told NBC 5.

The attorney said Pallavi Dhawan told him she would go to the grocery store and people would ask, "Is that the woman who killed her kid?"

NBC 5's Ben Russell, Scott Gordon, Catherine Ross, Frank Heinz and Todd L. Davis contributed to this report.

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