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Nimisha Tiwari, her four-year-old son Vakadham and 18-month-old daughter Ananya died


NRI mother killed herself and her two children, allegedly set her house on fire


Chicago, Aug, 15, 2007
Darshan Singh

NRI Nimisha Tiwari, 32, of Naperville, Chicago Suburbs, set her own home on fire Saturday, killing herself and her two small children, 4-year-old son and 18-month-old daughter.

Police said, the front door of the house deadbolted shut and Nimisha Tiwari ignited the gasoline by pouring around the room. Soon, the room was engulfed in flames, fatally injuring her and her children.

During a news conference, Naperville Police Chief David Dial said:

  • We do not know the motive for such a horrific incident by describing Saturday's fire that killed Tiwari, her son, Vardaan, and daughter, Ananya..
  • There were no stab or gunshot wounds or signs of abuse on any of the bodies.
  • No suicide note was found and all three victims were alive when the fire was started.
  • All three were taken to Edward Hospital in Naperville, where Vardaan Tiwari was pronounced dead, while Nimisha and Ananya Tiwari were airlifted to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. Nimisha Tiwari died at 9:45 p.m. that night; the toddler held on until just after midnight, according to the Cook County medical examiner.
  • By looking the store surveillance tapes she stopped the family's silver Honda Odyssey mini-van at a Citgo gas station and bought a can of gasoline about 1:40 p.m.
  • She bought the children a Thomas the Tank Engine and a Dora the Explorer doll about 2:05 p.m. at a store in Downers Grove, witnesses said.
  • About an hour and a half later, Nimisha Tiwari took the children and their new toys into the master bedroom of the home.
  • I can't explain why she lit the fire
  • The couple married in India in 1999 and moved to the United States sometime that same year.
  • Anand Tiwari, Nimisha's husband and father of the children, was in Chicago taking courses toward a MBA degree at the time of the fire and has been "completely cooperative"

Few months back, both spouses filed complaints with police, alleging bad parenting and abuse on the other's part. It means that Nimisha Tiwari and her husband had a troubled marriage.

Nimisha Tiwari:

  • She sought an emergency order of protection on May 18, asking the court to order her husband to stay away from her, their home and the preschool their eldest child attended. She also asked the court to order her husband to give her the children's passports and visas.
  • She also told the court that Anand Tiwari was a domineering husband who manhandled her, took away the checkbook and credit cards. He told the children "Mom is crazy."
  • She complained that she found a recording device and said she confronted her husband about it.
  • She said her husband had established a separate post office box.
  • She said he had told friends that she was "going out of [my] mind," and that he "tells me to commit suicide."

The judge granted the emergency order but later vacated it after her husband responded to the allegations.

Anand Tiwari:

  • He alleged that his wife had multiple sclerosis. He said she was being treated by a neurologist and was taking medication for the disease
  • He said that his wife was suffering psychological effects from the disease and that her "impulsivity endangered their children.
  • He said he had established the post office box because she was not giving him the mail.
  • Response to Nimisha Tiwari's allegations, Lawyers for Anand Tiwari later filed documents denying his wife's allegations, the newspaper reported. The documents said she suffered from multiple sclerosis that caused "her to create false beliefs for herself" and affected her "decision-making."
  • The documents also accuse the wife of punishing their son by locking him in a dark room, alleging the son "is terrified of his mother unless I am there with him."
  • “I will definitely do something in terms of helping children,” Tiwari said. “I don't know what yet. I will be thinking about that (after the services). I will need some help. This is most important to me.”

Nimisha's father, P. Awasthi :

  • Nimisha's father, P. Awasthi told a newspaper in Calcutta, India, that his daughter was not capable of killing her children. The father said he spoke to her the day of the fire and she seemed fine. On Wednesday, he arrived in Chicago to attend the services.
  • Anand Tiwari, regularly ill-treat my daughter and we had several times tried to bring about a reconciliation between the two.
  • In April, we had visited our daughter in Naperville and tried to persuade Anand to reform his ways, but to no avail.



NRI Nimisha Tiwari, 32, set her own home on fire Saturday, killing herself and her two small children

Anand Tiwari, Nimisha's husband