Singh family's loss compounded with death of slain couple's son
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The family of a young Syosset man who was found dead in Philadelphia said his passing only compounded the grief they have endured since the unsolved murders of the man's parents seven years ago.
Pulkit Singh, 20, a junior at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, was discovered dead by friends Jan. 12 in his apartment, said Singh's uncle, Joginder Singh, 44, of Bethpage. Autopsy results are still pending, he said, adding do that investigators told him they do not suspect foul play.
"Our wounds still didn't heal from our prior tragedy since we don't have the answers," Singh said. "Then this comes up. . . . I don't have the words."
On Jan. 27, 2007, brothers Pulkit and Ankur Singh, then 13 and 12, went to school and returned to their Syosset home seven hours later to find their parents, Jaspal, 46, and Geeta, 38, shot to death.
Joginder Singh, the younger brother of Jaspal Singh, then raised the brothers with his wife and three children.
Nassau police were unable to comment Sunday on the status of that case.
Singh said Pulkit did not let his parents' deaths "pull him back. He actually made it a driving force for himself. He always wanted to live life to the fullest."
Still, in 2011, Pulkit, who also went by the name Josh, told Newsday he was haunted by the discovery of his slain parents and by the fact that the killer was still on the loose.
"I don't feel like we're ever going to find out who did it," he said. "Knowing what happened would help us bring justice to our family and peace to our family."
Police said at the time they believed the parents, who immigrated to the United States from India, had been targeted.
Pulkit was an honor student at Bethpage High School and went on to double major in engineering and business at the University of Pennsylvania.
"Initially, he wanted to work on Wall Street. He was always challenging himself . . . to do better and better," Singh said. "He was just an amazing kid."
Though Pulkit was ambitious, he remained humble, Singh said. He took part in a religious practice of the Universal Brotherhood -- a group composed of Hindus, Muslims and Christians -- to honor God by touching others' feet, even his younger cousins'.
Pulkit hoped to secure an internship in his parents' native India, where he visited with family every few years, Singh said. His parents moved from Queens to Syosset in 2005 to provide their children with better schools, he said.
"They had great dreams," Singh said. "By God's grace, he accomplished all the dreams his father had for him," most importantly "to have a great education."
Singh said Pulkit carefully weighed decisions by talking to a school counselor, researching online and also coming to Singh, whom he called chacha -- meaning "uncle" in Hindi -- for advice.
"It was very hard to convince him . . . of anything," said Singh, adding that Pulkit often remembered statistics. "He always used to defeat me in arguments. . . . I would feel proud."
Singh said he received a phone call shortly after 3 p.m. on Jan. 12 from a university chaplain who relayed the news of Pulkit's death.
"It was like lightning struck on my body. . . . I had him repeat it," said Singh, who said he was in disbelief. "I called back again just to double-check, just to hear something different."
Singh said he last saw Pulkit during his visit home on Jan. 10, two days before his death. Pulkit's brother, Ankur, a college student in Philadelphia, spoke with Pulkit until about 2 a.m. on Jan. 12 and planned to visit him later that day.
Singh said Pulkit texted a friend around 4:45 a.m., but he was unsure about the content of the message.
"Now, Ankur is the only one, and I pray to God we can give him so much love, so much support," said Singh, fighting tears.
Attempts yesterday to reach university and Philadelphia police were unsuccessful.
More than 300 people attended services held for Pulkit on Saturday at Chapey & Sons Funeral Home in Bethpage, family said. Cremation followed at the Nassau Suffolk Crematory in Lake Ronkonkoma and last prayers were held in Vaishnav Temple and Community Center in New Hyde Park.
With Darran Simon
and Tania Lopez