LATE UPDATE 5: 17 PM EST: Police identified the woman found dead in Minnesota as Sarkar’s wife.
A woman named on a “kill list” found in the home of Mainak Sarkar, the man who killed himself and a UCLA professor in a murder-suicide on the university’s campus, has been found dead in Minnesota, police announced Thursday.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said in a press conference that Sarkar, a disgruntled former UCLA engineering student who graduated with a doctorate in 2013, is believed to have traveled to Los Angeles in the past few days after killing the unidentified female victim at her home in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.
On Wednesday, Sarkar walked into the office of his former instructor, 39-year-old UCLA mechanical engineering professor William Klug, and fatally shot him before committing suicide with the same weapon.
Beck said that the investigation was ongoing, but that the motive appears to be Sarkar’s belief that Klug stole his computer code and gave it to someone else.
“UCLA says there is no truth to this,” Beck said. “This was a making of his own imagination. So we believe that that may certainly be what was the causal factor.”
Beck said Sarkar was heavily armed when he arrived on the UCLA campus. He carried two semi-automatic pistols, multiple magazines of ammunition and several loose rounds in a backpack, according to Beck.
“He was certainly prepared to engage multiple victims with the ordinance that he had at his disposal,” the LAPD chief said.
Police believe that Sarkar also intended to kill another UCLA professor who was named on the hit list, but was unable to “locate” that professor because he was off campus at the time of the shooting. Authorities have not identified that other professor.
According to Beck, a note found at the crime scene asking authorities to check on Sarkar’s cat prompted them to search his St. Paul, Minnesota residence. Another note police found at Sarkar’s home contained the names of the three individuals he planned to kill.
Upon conducting a welfare check at the woman’s home in nearby Brooklyn Park, police found her dead from a gunshot wound.
Beck declined to offer any information about the deceased woman’s relationship with Sarkar, saying he did not know if police officials in Minnesota had “made proper notification to family.”
Authorities were investigating whether Sarkar committed any other crimes on his way from Minnesota to Los Angeles, and were trying to locate his car, a 2003 gray Nissan Sentra, to provide further information about his trip.
Sarkar reportedly had a long-standing grudge against Klug and frequently spoke out against him on his social media accounts. Though his WordPress blog has since been taken down, The Los Angeles times reported that Sarkar called Klug “a “very sick person” in one March 10 post and said he “clearly stole all my code and gave it to another student.”
Beck said that Klug and the unnamed professor were aware of Sarkar’s “issues” with them, but that nothing Sarkar wrote “would be considered homicidal.” He said police “don’t know” whether Sarkar had a history of mental illness.