In the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka, a 26-year-old woman named Anupallavi was having an extramarital affair. Anupallavi, her mother, and her lover were keen to get Naveen Kumar, Anupallavi’s husband, out of the picture, so they reportedly hired three contract killers to kidnap and murder him. Blood was ultimately spilled — just not Naveen’s.

The Times of India reported that Anupallavi and her lover, Himavanth Kumar, reached out to three men named Harish, Magaraju, and Mugilan to kill Naveen. The sum Anupavalli paid to kill her husband, a flour mill owner and cab driver, was the equivalent of $1,126.35. She promised an additional $1,376.65 to the trio upon completion of the deed.

Harish, Magaraju, and Mugilan successfully kidnapped Naveen on July 23. They took him to the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu where, instead of making a corpse, they made a friend.

When the trio determined they couldn’t kill Naveen, they took him partying.

Owed an additional $1,376.65 if they demonstrated to Anupallavi, a mother of two, that her husband was dead, the trio sent her a photograph of a drunken Naveen covered in tomato ketchup. The ketchup they hoped to pass off as blood.

It is unclear whether the photograph sent to Anupallavi insinuating Naveen’s demise was believable, but it was certainly impactful. Upon seeing it, Himavanth is said to have committed suicide out of fear on August 1.

Naveen’s absence became a point of concern for his sister, so she filed a missing persons report with Peenya police on August 2.

Four days later and 15 days after his initial kidnapping, Naveen returned home. When questioned by police, he suggested that Himavanth had been responsible for hiring the contract killers. Investigators reportedly confirmed the involvement of Anupallavi and her mother, Ammojamma, in the plot, both of whom were arrested along with Harish, Magaraju, and Mugilan.

Despite her attempt on his life, Naveen is said to have forgiven his wife and asked police not to take action against her.

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