The 25-year-old South Asian woman whose body was found floating in Little Bay last week may have taken her own life, trying to escape an arranged marriage, according to sources close to the case.
Rini Shajan of Elmont was discovered dead on the surface of Little Bay near Fort Totten the morning of August 7, police said.
Cops told her father, Shajan George, there were no signs of foul play, but the exact cause of death and whether it was a suicide are still under investigation, according to the Queens medical examiner’s office.
“I don’t know what went through her mind in those final moments. She and only God know,” George said.
The licensed pharmacy technician was set to wed a man she only briefly spoke with on the phone and through video chat, her father said. The August 20 nuptials would have taken place two weeks from Shajan’s apparent suicide, but George said his daughter never expressed an ounce of unhappiness at the setup.
“She probably didn’t want to disappoint me,” he said. “She promised me she would marry the guy. She probably didn’t want to break the promise.”
George said days before the death, his daughter — who lived at home with the family — was “happy and laughing and watching TV with her sister.”
“She wasn’t unhappy. She spoke with her fiancé on August 3 and they have been talking by phone. They were talking on Skype and video chatting. She was talking to him about trimming his mustache and stuff like that and the wedding,” he said. “She didn’t tell me anything.”
Mathew George, vicar at Salem Mar Thoma Church of Eastern Long Island in Dix Hills — the family’s church — said Shajan did not have much contact with any parish members and was rarely seen by the congregation.
“Her father said she agreed to that marriage. They had already arranged everything,” he said.
Shajan went to Elmont Memorial High School and received a pharmacy degree at St. John’s. She celebrated her 25th birthday at the end of June and was buried August 12.
“She was a wonderful person,” George said. “We’re trying to cope with what happened. I would have called off the wedding if I knew she was unhappy.”