Police were called to the all-night Dunkin Donuts on Arundel Mills Boulevard after a customer walked in at around 11 p.m. Sunday and found that there were no employees.
When police arrived, they found 21-year-old Palak Patel lying dead in the kitchen. Evidence collected at the scene linked the murder to Patel’s husband, who also worked with her at the store. Police say he hit his wife multiple times with an object and then fled on foot.
An arrest warrant was issued for Patel, who has been charged with first- and second-degree murder, assault and other charges. Police are still looking for him and are warning the public that he is dangerous.
“Don’t harbor him, don’t assist him in any way, shape or form,” said police spokesperson Justin Mulcahy, who added the couple had at least one prior contact with police for a domestic incident in December.
“Apparently somebody, a neighbor, had heard some loud noises or banging, report of a possible domestic incident,” Mulcahy said.
Police are asking anyone with information about the case or Patel’s wherabouts to call Anne Arundel County police homicide Detective Kelly Harding at 410-222-4743, or call the tip line at 410-222-4700.
Dunkin’ Donuts released a statement, saying: “We are aware of the tragic incident that occurred at the Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins combination restaurant on Arundel Mills Boulevard in Hanover, Maryland. All of us at Dunkin’ Brands are saddened to learn of the death of crew member Palak Bhadreskumar Patel, and our thoughts go out to her family and friends. The franchise owner is cooperating fully with the local authorities in their investigation. As this is a pending police matter, it is inappropriate for us to comment further.”