A manhunt is underway for a man accused of killing his wife at a Dunkin' Donuts in Anne Arundel County.
Police say Bhadreshkumar Chetanbhai Patel savagely murdered his wife inside the store near Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover late Sunday night. The body of 21-year-old Palak Bhadreshkumar Patel was found in the kitchen.
A customer who was suspicious after seeing no workers inside alerted police around 10:50 p.m. An Anne Arundel County Police officer went in and found the victim.
Police say she had been struck multiple times with what one source described as a type of sword or machete.
"We want to find this person," said Justin Mulcahy, a spokesperson for Anne Arundel County police. "We want to get him off the streets. We consider him dangerous. Don't assist him in any way."
The couple both worked at the store.
Investigators are looking through surveillance video, but won't say what it shows.
Wanted flyers with Patel's picture are posted in area businesses.
Police searched the area around the couple's apartment and with a helicopter overhead. The couple lived within walking distance of the store.
Investigators don't know if anyone is helping him get away.
Customers coming in for coffee and donuts Monday morning instead found the store closed and surrounded with police tape.
"It was a surprise in this area with this many people around here pretty much all the time, especially with the casino and the mall right across the street here," said one man who works across the street and is a frequent customer.
Police are not discussing the motive, but did say there was a prior report in December of a domestic incident at the couple's apartment after a neighbor heard loud noises or banging coming from inside.
"As far as people in this area, businesses in the area, we want them to know it's an isolated incident," Mulcahy said. "It is not random. It's domestic in nature."
A group of men who had been at the Dunkin' Donuts most of the day left late in the afternoon, but refused to say anything about what happened.
Police have an arrest warrant for Patel charging him with first and second-degree murder as well as various assault and weapon charges.
Investigators believe someone knows where he is and is urging anyone with information to call police at 410-222-4700. Callers can remain anonymous.
In a statement Dunkin' Brands said it was "saddened" by what happened and that the franchisee is cooperating with the police investigation.
It is unclear if Patel got away on foot or in a car, but so far, investigators have no description of a vehicle.
Dunkin' Brands released the following statement about the situation:
"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."