Mysterious death of 4 in family, police arrests survivor woman

The first of the deaths was reported in September 2012 when Keertana, Soumya’s one-and-half-year-old daughter, died after continuous vomiting. Image for Representation

A case involving mysterious deaths in one family in Kannur – panned over six years – was sealed with a grim twist on Tuesday night with the police arresting a surviving family member, a woman, for the four murders -- of her two daughters and parents.

Police had taken the accused, Soumya, into custody early on Tuesday from a hospital in Thalassery.

The first of the deaths was reported in September 2012 when Keertana, Soumya’s one-and-half-year-old daughter, died after continuous vomiting. In January this year, Soumya’s other daughter Aishwarya (eight) died. Soumya’s mother Kamala (68) and father Kunjikannan (76) died in March and April, respectively – all deaths marked by a pattern of excessive vomiting.

Mystery over the deaths led police to revisit the cases and breakthrough emerged after examination of the internal organs of Kunjikannan and Kamala which revealed the presence of aluminium phosphide, a rodenticide. On Monday, police exhumed the body of Aishwarya from the compound of Soumya’s house in Padannakkara, near Pinarayi, to collect the viscera for chemical examination.

Following the death of Kunjikannan, Soumya, separated from her husband, was hospitalised with symptoms that preceded the four deaths.

Police recorded Soumya’s arrest after interrogation through the day. Unconfirmed reports said three men have been detained as part of the probe. The police are yet to disclose leads regarding the motive behind the alleged killing.

 

 

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