Stepmom, 58, Jailed for 22 Years for Strangling 9-Year-old Stepdaughter in the Bathtub

A stepmother was sentenced Monday to 22 years to life in prison for the 2016 strangling of her 9-year-old stepdaughter in the bathroom of their home in Richmond Hill, Queens in New York.

Shamdai Arjun, 58, an Indian-origin woman of Queens, New York, has been jailed for killing her nine-year old stepdaughter, Ashdeep Kaur, just three months after Ashdeep emigrated from India to live with her father in America.

She was convicted of second-degree murder for strangling the child in the bathtub of their Queens home on Aug. 19, 2016.

Arjun was observed by an eyewitness leaving her apartment in Queens along with her ex-husband Raymond Narayan, and her two grandchildren ages 3 and 5. When asked about the nine-year-old victim’s whereabouts, Arjun informed the eyewitness that the child was in the bathroom and was waiting for her father to pick her up.

The eyewitness, who observed that the bathroom light had been on for several hours, called the victim’s father Sukhjinder Singh and was instructed to break through the bathroom door, at which time she found Kaur’s lifeless body in the bathtub. There were several bruises on her body.

Sukhjinder Singh, cried throughout his statement to the court, as did relatives seated with him. “Whenever I came home from work, my daughter always said, ‘Papa, Papa!’ Now, nobody says Papa,” he said. “My daughter said to me, ‘Papa, one day I may become a police officer.’ ”