- Sarmistha Sen, 43, of Plano, was a pharmacist and researcher who studied molecular biology and worked with cancer patients.
An Indian American mother of two young boys was murdered during her morning jog in a park in a Dallas, Texas suburb on Aug. 1. News reports say 43-year-old Sarmistha Sen of Plano was randomly attacked and killed while jogging at the Chisholm Trail Park. Sen was a pharmacist and researcher who studied molecular biology and worked with cancer patients. She is survived by her husband Arindam Roy and her sons, Neil, 12, and Ryan, 6, and their 3-month-old puppy, Milly.
Greg Sidon, who, along with another couple, found Sen’s body lying near a creek in the area, told Dallas NBC affiliate KXAS-TV that chills ran through his body when he saw Sen. “It’s not something you see every day,” he said. “It was very upsetting, to say the least, it’s still upsetting, she has a beautiful family and she was a scientist.”
Citing Plano police, news reports say that Sen’s death was a random attack. Although the cause of death is currently unknown, police say Sen wasn’t shot.
The police have also arrested a 29-year-old out-of-state resident as a person of interest with possible connection to Sen’s death. Plano police spokesman David Tilley told the media that Bakari Abiona Moncrief, who was in town visiting relatives, is in custody at the Plano Jail and is charged with burglary. Police say around the same time of the murder, someone broke into a house nearby the creek where Sen’s body was found.
Meanwhile, Sen’s murder has led to an outpouring of grief and support from the community. On Aug. 3, strangers, neighbors and friends surrounded two trees near the park with flowers and hundreds of running shoes. All the shoes that people have placed around the memorials were to be picked up on Aug. 4, and donated to a charity called Trusted World.
Friends have also started a change.org petition to ensure that Sen’s killer “is found, duly charged for the crime and receives the punishment under the law that he or she deserves for committing this heinous act which has debilitated this family with two young children who are now motherless.”
According to a website set up by her family, Sen was born on Jan. 2, 1977 in Sindri, India, where she grew up. She later moved to Bangalore for higher studies and work. After marrying Arindam Roy, she moved to Plano in 2004. Sen studied in UT Dallas and University of Birmingham, Alabama, and worked on cancer research for most of her career. An avid runner, Sen was an early riser and liked to jog around the Chisolm trail every morning.
“Sarmistha lived a free and fearless life inspiring many with her infectious energy and carefree smile,” the website says. “She practiced healthy mindful living and she could cook extremely healthy food that tasted amazingly good. She was a trained singer of Indian classical music and loved to teach and perform music. She was passionate about cancer care and was a lifelong supporter of cancer research.”
In a post on the Caring Bridge website, Roy wrote that as he is learning to make sense of his wife’s murder, he is thankful for the support he’s receiving from family and friends. Sen’s elder brother, Sumit Sen, a doctor, and his family have flown from California and are helping Roy and the boys. The family has set up a GoFundMe and MealTrain page. The money raised from GoFundMe will be donated to different charities.