THE 24-year-old "healer" wanted for the alleged murder of a Tavua woman on Monday was a stranger to the family.
The husband of the deceased, Silor Mani, said he brought the young man into his Malele home last Saturday because the family was told by friends he had healing powers.
Mr Mani said his 53-year-old wife, Shitamma, was suffering from kidney problems.
"We did not know him but I brought him home because I wanted to save my wife's life," he said.
"The family were told by friends that he could cure kidney patients so I brought him from Lautoka.
"The man stayed with us since Saturday as we performed pooja. He remained with us until this incident happened.
"I didn't know the cause of death as I was away in the cane farms.
"It's so painful to believe that the man we brought to cure my wife's sickness could be responsible for her death."
His son, Lalesh Mani, claimed the prime suspect had given the family a false name.
"I don't even know his full name and we only called him Vinal," said Lalesh.
"Friends told us after the death of my mother that his name is Viren. We brought him because we wanted mum to be healed as we thought he could perform some kind of miracle."
He claimed the suspect also drove away in the family car just before her body was discovered by a neighbour.
"I was told by one of the neighbours that he took off in our family car and is nowhere to be found."
On Monday night, family members and neighbours braved the cold night as they waited for the police forensic team to arrive to collect Shitamma's body.
Police are still looking for leads to locate the prime suspect.
West police spokesman Wame Bautolu said police had questioned and released a 17-year-old teenager in relation to the alleged murder.
He said the prime suspect was still on the run.
Police have appealed to members of the public for information on the suspect.