Man Sought in Death of Dunkin' Donuts Shop Owner

Police: unclear how Bharat Patel died

Monday, Jun 11, 2012  |  Updated 8:25 PM EDT
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Police say the co-owner of a new Dunkin' Donuts in Reston was beaten to death in the parking lot of his home. News4's Chris Gordon reports.

Chris Gordon

Police say the co-owner of a new Dunkin' Donuts in Reston was beaten to death in the parking lot of his home. News4's Chris Gordon reports.

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The death of a Reston Dunkin' Donuts shop owner has police searching for a man believed to be responsible for the beating.

Bharat Patel, 40, was found dead early Saturday outside his apartment in the 1100 block of Winterthur Lane.

Police had responded to the scene earlier in the evening after reports of a fight, but found nothing.

Patel was reported missing an hour later, and his body was found not long after, near a transformer in the apartment complex parking lot.

An autopsy revealed he died of blunt force trauma to the upper body.

Police are circulating a sketch of an Indian man believed to be responsible. They believe him to be 25-35 years old. They didn't say whether they believe the attacker knew the victim, but they said they don't believe the community is in danger.

Patel was originally from India. The Dunkin' Donuts he co-owned had opened four days earlier. He and his wife had both worked at the shop until closing Friday night. When she went into their apartment, he stayed outside to talk to someone.

Last night, Dunkin' Donuts released a statement saying, "We send our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Bharat. This tragedy impacts all of us at Dunkin Donuts, especially those who had the pleasure to work with him on a daily basis."

Anyone with information about the homicide should call Fairfax County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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