Police just missed finding Roland Pillay alive.Seven days after the brutal murder of his wife, Verusha Padayachee, police on Wednesday traced Pillay to a lodge in Central Durban where he had hanged himself an hour earlier.Pillay is believed to have beaten and strangled Padayachee to death last Monday at her home in Lincoln Meade, Pietermaritzburg, before fleeing the scene in his wife’s car, which did not have a tracker. The couple had a young child together.Pillay disappeared following the murder of his wife and immediately became a suspect when it came to light that he had been seen leaving the complex in her car, and was later spotted buying painkillers and plasters from a local pharmacy.Pietermaritzburg crime intelligence and Alexandra Road police station detectives took on the case, working around the clock to trace and arrest Pillay. Last Thursday police found Padayachee’s damaged VW Polo in a forest in Hilton called Hilton Farm.Roland Pillay.The sump had been damaged and the car could not move further. Electrical cord was found in the boot.Police combed through the forest all of Thursday night and at the weekend, but could not find Pillay.It is believed that after the murder, Pillay went to Reshape Gym in Raisethorpe, which he and his wife owned, and took money from the safe. He left his cellphones at the gym so he could not be traced.It is believed Pillay may have had help in running from the law.He apparently checked into the central Durban lodge last Wednesday.Staff reported he was very nervous, did not want house keeping to clean his room and was always wearing a big jacket and a hat.Police had been in Durban since early Wednesday morning after tracing him to the city, but by the time they entered the lodge room, Pillay had already hanged himself.Cellphones and a note was apparently found in his room.Pillay’s relative, who asked to remain unnamed, confirmed he had been found dead in Durban. The relative said Pillay committed suicide by hanging.“It’s not good but at least the family has some closure now because they didn’t know what was going on. No matter what he did he was still family. When your own child dies no matter what the circumstances, it’s just tragic,” said the relative.Padayachee’s family declined to comment.KZN police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said an inquest docket had been opened at the Point police station after Pillay was found hanging in the room.Crime Intelligence Captain Rumen Maistry and Alexandra police detective R. Naidoo spent days and sleepless nights tracking down Pillay.People took to The Witness Facebook page on Wednesday condemning Pillay as a coward and expressing anger that the couple’s child had been left an orphan.