A UAE court has sentenced a man to death for the murder of two expats in the villa community of Dubai’s Arabian Ranches, local media reported on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old convict was a construction worker of Pakistani origin enticed by the sighting of a large sum of money during a maintenance visit to the Indian family’s home in 2019.

The family of four consisted of the mother Vidhi Adhiya, father Hiren Adhiya, and two children aged 18 and 15 at the time. The names of the children were withheld.

Prior to the murder, the suspect was said to have stalked the family and planned for the heist, until the fateful night of June 17, 2020.

Both the mother and father were killed that night as they slept. The 18-year-old daughter was stabbed in the neck when she responded to her parents’ cries for help, but survived.

Soon after the then-18-year-old made sense of the situation, the police were informed, who conducted a days-long manhunt before apprehending the perpetrator in the emirate of Sharjah.

According to court reports cited by the local media, Hiren Adhiya was stabbed 10 times while Vidhi Adhiya was stabbed 14 times as they became alert to the robbery underway.

The assailant reportedly snuck into the house through an unlocked patio door, stole over AED 1,900 in a wallet, and then entered the room in search of larger sums of money when he committed the double murder.

The murder weapon was found in a sand pit approximately 500 meters from the house, according to the same media reports.

Apart from the confession, other forms of evidence including a bloody handprint on a wall in the villa and the convict’s mask on the victims’ bed confirmed the identity of the killer.

The man was charged with double murder, attempted murder of the daughter, and robbery, said the reports.