Six deaths in 12 years: Kerala cops to exhume 4 bodies after plaint

Kozhikode: The police, probing the mysterious deaths of six members of a family at Koodathayi in Kerala Kozhikode district, said that the victims could have been poisoned.

The cops hinted at the murder angle after opening the six gravesand examining the mortal remains.

Six members from a family died between 2002 to 2014. Retired educational department officer P Tom Jose died in 2008, his wife and retired teacher Annamma died in 2002, their son Roy Thomas in 2012, their relative Cily and her 10-month-old daughter Alphonsa died in 2014 while Annamma’s brother Mathew Manjadi passed away in 2010.

An autopsy was done only on Roy’s body as the rest of the deaths were not found to be suspicious. There are reports that Roy’s autopsy report revealed the presence of poison, but the police have not confirmed it. The deaths of Tom and Annamma were considered natural and age related, hence no inquiry was carried out.

The case is being investigated by the crime branch following a complaint from Roy’s brother Rojo, who is based in the United States. According to reports, the complainant alleged that some relatives were trying to grab Tom Jose’s property.

“The complaint was only about one death. Later when we enquired, we found all these other deaths in the family to be suspicious. Exhuming will help us to get important evidences. This will be crucial to our investigation. At this point of time we definitely believe there is foul play in these deaths as most of them had a similar pattern,” a junior crime branch officer told TNM on the condition of anonymity.

The police will exhume the mortal remains of four members of the family from a cemetery in a church in Koodathai. The bodies of Cily and her 10-month-old daughter, who were buried in a church in Kodenchery, will be exhumed first as their deaths are the latest.

“Earlier we had planned to exhume the bodies secretly. At present our investigation doesn’t target a single person. We have our doubts, this forensic examination can help us a lot,” the officer said.

The police were not ready to reveal further details about the deaths.