A UCSF dental student found shot to death in her Albany apartment was attacked hours after attending services at a Sikh temple in El Sobrante, police said as they revealed more details and asked for tips in the investigation into the city’s first homicide since 2004.
Randhir Kaur, 37, was found dead in a pool of blood in her apartment at 1068 Kains Ave. about 4 p.m. last Monday. Her cousin found her body after being summoned by UCSF officials who became concerned after she missed scheduled appointments earlier in the day.
An autopsy by the Alameda County coroner revealed that she had been shot once in the head, police said.
Investigators released new information Sunday as they continued their search for whoever killed Kaur, the first homicide victim in the city of 19,000 since July 2004.
Police said Kaur had attended afternoon prayers at Gurdwara Sahib, a Sikh temple in El Sobrante, on March 8. She had planned to spend that evening studying.
Authorities said they believe Kaur was accosted and shot sometime after she arrived home in the evening.
Officers found Kaur lying on the floor of her apartment. There were no signs of forced entry, and her car, a brown 1999 Toyota, was found parked and locked at her home, police said.
Investigators revealed that personal items belonging to Kaur were taken from her home and found inside a trash can on the 5200 block of Panama Street in Richmond, about 2 miles away.
Police did not say what those items were, but a resident told The Chronicle that a friend of hers found what turned out to be Kaur’s black Coach purse — and a bag of bloody clothing — in her trash can about 11:50 a.m. last Monday, less than two hours before her garbage would have been picked up during her regular pickup.
The resident, who didn’t want her name used, said Kaur’s school of dentistry identification, some credit cards, wallet, camera and empty cell-phone case were in the bag. There was also a second purse with cosmetics and a bag containing rolled-up clothing with blood on it, she said.
She said she called Albany police to report the discovery, but was told she should call Richmond police because she was a resident of that city. At the time, Kaur’s body hadn’t yet been found. It wasn’t until about an hour after the grisly discovery that Albany police retrieved the items, she said.
The woman said police declined to tell her anything about the investigation, saying only that there had been a “serious crime.” She said she discovered what had happened to the woman by reading a Chronicle story online.
Police would not say whether anything belonging to Kaur was kept and used by anyone, such as other credit or bank cards.
Criminalists from the Alameda County sheriff’s crime lab are assisting police in the investigation.
UCSF officials have called Kaur a “treasured member” of the school community.
Kaur, who was from India, was a student at the UCSF School of Dentistry’s International Dentist Program. She had been at the university for eight months and was to have graduated in June 2016.
UCSF students, faculty and staff will hold a candlelight vigil at 5 p.m. Monday in Saunders Court. A formal memorial is also scheduled at a later date.
Anyone with information in the case is asked to call Albany police at (510) 525-7300. Anonymous tips can be called in to Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.