The Strange Death of Dr. Geetha Angara
On Tuesday morning,2/08/05,Geetha Angara,age 43,of Holmdel,NJ "disappeared" from her job at the Passaic Valley Water Commission in Totawa,NJ.Her body was subsequently recovered from a 35' deep water tank-and the Passaic County Prosecutor suspects she was murdered.
Mrs. Angara,who held a doctorate in organic chemistry from NYU,had been employed by the Commission for 12 years,and was apparently well liked.Originally a native of India,she was married to a Jersey City Banker-Jaya Kumar Angara,and had 3 children.
Most of her work -the continuing evaluation of water quality-was done in her lab;but,from time to time,she would enter the basement to check the calibration of equipment,and to draw water samples from an array of hoses along one wall.
Investigators believe,while Mrs. Angara was checking samples,she was accosted,and pushed-or otherwise forced-through a 4'x4' access panel (weighing approximately 50 lbs.)
and into a 30' deep water tank-filled with very cold water.
There was no way to escape the tank,and it is believed she drowned soon after entering the water.
Pumping equipment is thought to have moved her body into a second holding tank:this one filled with water to a depth of 35'.
Investigators at first wondered if this had been some sort of tragic accident-or even a bizarre suicide-but they were confronted with the fact the access panel had been put back in place-after
she entered the water.
Some 55 co-workers have been questioned,and,thus far,no suspects or motives have emerged.
Did the victim encounter someone about to poison the area's water supply ? There is no way to tell,because millions of gallons of water had to be pumped out of the tanks to recover her body,and any poisons would be in such minute amounts as to be virtually undetectable.
The death presents a continuing mystery.