Kerala cops seek foreign labs’ help in murder case

Photo for representation.

The Kerala police are seeking the aid of forensic laboratories from abroad to locate evidence in the Koodathai murder case, as they are facing a challenge in finding conclusive evidence. 

Jolly, 47, the prime accused, is suspected to have killed six relatives, including her husband, by serving food laced with cyanide. The deaths occurred between 2002 and 2016, causing them to explore the option of conducting advanced forensic tests like trace analysis to acquire more leads.

Kerala State Police Chief Loknath Behera said that a formidable task awaits, to overcome which, the bodies of the deceased would be subjected to advanced forensic tests in the laboratories of countries like the USA and UK.

A forensic expert said that because the deaths occurred three to 17 years ago, in a normal case, it would be difficult to detect traces of cyanide from mortal remains.

Meanwhile, the police are yet to arrest anyone else in the case, apart from Jolly, and two others who are suspected to have supplied cyanide — M S Mathew and Praji Kumar. Those killed were Jolly’s husband Roy, his parents Tom Thomas and Annamma, Roy’s uncle Mathew, Roy’s cousin’s wife Sily and her daughter Alphine. Though the police quizzed Jolly’s present husband Shaju Zacharia (Roy’s cousin and Silly’s husband) on Monday, he was not arrested. Several people, including local politicians, were under police surveillance owing to their close connections with the key accused.

Shaju and other relatives of Jolly have come out with strong statements against her, pointing fingers at her suspicious connections and lifestyle.

Even her brother, in a statement to the media, said that Jolly used to demand money and that he suspects that she had faked a deed to inherit Roy’s parent’s wealth. Jolly’s son Romo also said he would never try to justify his mother.

Roy’s sister Renji said that she had no suspicion over the deaths or the involvement of Jolly. “It was with God’s grace that we could now understand the real reasons behind the death of our parents and brother,” she said.

Renji and her brother Rojo had sought investigation into the death of her family.

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