The funeral of missing pregnant woman Sonam Shelar who was found dead at Wairarapa beach earlier last month was conducted in Wellington two weeks ago.
Ms Shelar's family members and husband Sagar Shelar conducted the cremation in Wellington and scattered half her ashes in Island Bay water.
Grieving husband Sagar Shelar told Herald on Sunday that his wife may have accidentally fallen to her death.
"Sonam died after accidentally falling from a pier and hitting her head," Mr Shelar said.
Police launched a search operation for the 26-year-old pregnant woman after reports of her missing on November 17 in the Wellington Region. She was last seen walking into a bus bound for the suburb of Island Bay.
Her body was later found on the White Rock Beach on Wairarapa coastline four days later.
Police ruled out any foul play- after Ms Shelar’s family claimed that she might have been murdered- and referred the death to the coroner.
White Rock at Wairarapa Beach close to where Ms Sonam Shelar's body was found (Image for reference only: Wairarapanz.com)
Sagar Shelar said the officers investigating her disappearance had indicated his wife might have slipped and fallen off the Island Bay pier- striking her head on the way down.
Shelar also told Herald on Sunday that during her disappearance the public had a perception that he might have something to do with her disappearance.
“It definitely felt bad because I am her husband and which husband who is going to be a father would do that? People who don’t know us were saying things about me. I don’t care what they think of me. I wish she was right here with me,” Mr Shelar told Herald on Sunday.
“Police say it was a slippery on the pier and she might have fallen into the water.
“They are thinking it was an accident. At five past 11, her phone was switched off… that’s when I think she must have slipped over. It was a bad day- very wet and windy. The police said she hit her head, that’s all.” Mr Shelar said.
Mr Shelar added that the police showed him the CCTV footage of her walking onto the bus and then walking along Island Bay beach.
Mr Shelar also said that his wife did not look ‘distressed’ and ‘unhappy’ in the footage.
The Indian Weekender requested police for any updates on the Sonam Shelar death and was told that ‘the death had been referred to the coroner- who will confirm the cause of the death’.
“The death was referred to the coroner. No further details are available,” Police media replied.
Sonam and Sagar Shelar wed last year December, and she moved to New Zealand in April this year.
“She was close to her mother and called her 15 times a day,” Mr Shelar said.
“She stopped eating and refused to leave the house. I suggested she make some friends with the local Wellington Indian community, but all she wanted was to sit at home,” Mr Shelar told Herald on Sunday.
Sonam Shelar’s family members travelled from Mumbai to Wellington for her funeral two weeks ago.
The family scattered half of her ashes into the water at Bay of Island and took the remaining half back to India.
“It is our tradition to scatter ashes in the Ganges [Ganges River], the holy river.
“We believe the person’s spirit will be re-birthed and go to heaven,” Mr Shelar added.
Mr Shelar said he took care of Sonam and is baby and she wasn’t lacking anything.
“I miss her completely; her voice, her smile, her everything. I dreamed of being a father and it was so close- there were only four months left to go- now that’s been taken away from me too,” Mr Shelar told Herald on Sunday.