Missing Airplane Mechanic Was Trying to Collect $315,000, and Debtor Is Now Charged with Murder

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Suren Seetal, 36, was reported missing after he didn't return home from work on Nov. 2

<p>Go Fund Me</p> Suren Seetal

Go Fund Me

Suren Seetal

A Florida airplane mechanic who was trying to collect a $315,000 debt was kidnapped and killed — and one of the suspects is the man who owed him the money, authorities allege.

On Monday, the United States Attorney’s Office announced charges against three men who authorities allege had “involvement in a violent kidnapping and murder of Miami-Dade resident Suren Seetal.”

A federal grand jury in the Southern District of Florida charged Broward County residents Somjeet Christopher “Lil Chris” Singh, 29, Avin “Smalls” Seetaram, 24, and Gavin Hunter, 18, with murder for hire conspiracy, murder for hire, kidnapping conspiracy, kidnapping and obstruction of justice.

Singh allegedly owed the Seetal approximately $315,000, and Seetal's girlfriend told authorities he'd been trying to collect his debts, according to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE.

The 36-year-old victim was last seen alive on Nov. 2 as he was leaving work. However, once he failed to return phone calls and did not come home, his family reported him missing.

“Suren was last working at the airplane hangar at Banyan, FXE Airport in Fort Lauderdale, and left around 6:41 p.m. Thursday November 2nd, 2023 to run some errands before his trip to Trinidad on Saturday,” Karen Seetal, an organizer on a GoFundMe account, shared on Nov. 13.

<p>Joe Raedle/Getty</p> airport

Joe Raedle/Getty

airport

“Suren did not return home Thursday night nor did he show up for work on Friday. His cell phone has been going to voicemail. Any donations will go directly to the family to help with the search. Thank you for any help you can provide,” the fundraiser continued.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Suren Seetal's cell phone was allegedly traced near Dr. HVAC, Singh’s air conditioning company. The device went off network a short time later.

His body was recovered at Big Cypress Reservation on Nov. 21.

The affidavit alleges that Seetal knew Singh and Seetaram from working together in the fireworks business. The suspects had been communicating with each other up until Seetal's cell phone’s signal was cut on Nov. 2.

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Additionally, the affidavit alleged that the following morning, an unmarked black tow truck driven by an employee of Singh's cousin removed Seetal's vehicle from the vicinity of Dr. HVAC.

The move was allegedly tracked by SunPass, a toll system in Florida.

The same day that Seetal's vehicle was towed, Home Depot security footage allegedly picked up Seetaram and Singh purchasing a 96-gallon yard waste cart, according to the affidavit.

Seetaram's cell phone also allegedly pinged traveling in the direction of where the victim’s body was discovered. Hunter is believed to be the suspect who fatally shot Seetal, the affidavit alleges.

"We extend our sincere condolences to the Seetal family. It's still very early, but I have been in regular communication with the Government since my client's arrest, and working diligently with the Government to understand the allegations and reach a just and expeditious resolution to this serious matter," Seetaram’s attorney said, in part, in a statement obtained by NBC 6.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Seetaram will have an arraignment hearing on Dec. 28.

Hunter’s arraignment hearing is scheduled for Jan. 2. Singh’s arraignment hearing is scheduled for Jan. 3.

PEOPLE was not able to contact attorneys for any of the suspects, and it's not immediately clear if any of the suspects has entered a plea.

If convicted of the charges contained in the federal indictment, Seetaram, Singh, and Hunter will each face a mandatory sentence of life in prison or the death penalty, the press release states.

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