The Mandanapu Case


The barbarity of the murder of Divya Mandanapu at the hands of husband Praveen, a computer programmer living in a quiet Ashburn neighborhood, was the worst kind of depravity.


It was clear from the beginning. The responsible Divya Mandanapu would never be absent from her bank job without notice. And after a curious call from her husband, bank co-workers called authorities. They knew something was not right.


The discovery of the dismembered body of Divya Mandanapu by a maintenance worker, in a South Riding dumpster, legitimized their concerns. Divya Mandanapu had been discovered in a suitcase.


After an eight-day trial in August 2006, Praveen Mandanapu was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to 55 years in prison. An appeal was soon filed challenging his conviction on grounds of newly discovered evidence, violation of the right to a speedy trial, and improper judicial instructions to the jury. The defense also challenged the constitutionality of Mandanapu’s statements to authorities.


The Virginia Court of Appeals wholly rejected the appeal and Mandanapu remains in prison today.