Six suspicious deaths in family: Crime Branch exhume bodies from grave
Thamarassery: In the mysterious death of six members of a family in Koodathayi here within a period of several years, the Crime Branch has begun digging out the bodies of the victims from the graves for examination. District Crime Branch is probing the case after a complaint was filed by a relative of the deceased.
The body of Alphonsa, a two-year-old child and her mother Sili, cremated at the Cemetery of St. Mary's Forane Church in Kodancherry, were exhumed first.
The tombs of four others, who were cremated at the cemetery of Lourdes Matha church in Koodathayi, will be exhumed later.
The remnants of the bodies will be inspected by forensic experts in the presence of RDO so as to find out the reasons of the death. It is suspected the deaths occurred due to poisoning.
Suspicion arose when all the six had died in similar circumstances.
A retired employee of education department Ponnamattam Tom Thomas, wife retd. teacher Annamma, son Roy Thomas, Annamma’s brother Mathew Machadi, Tom Thomas’ nephew’s wife Sili, her two-year-old daughter Alphonsa had died in similar circumstances, but years apart.
Another son of Tom Thomas residing in USA, Rojo Thomas, had filed a complaint demanding to probe the deaths.
In 2002, Annamma died first. She collapsed after consuming food. Reason for death was cited as heart attack. In 2008, Tom Thomas died and in 2014 Mathew passed away. Later Alphonsa died which was followed by Sili’s death.
Everyone collapsed after consuming food. This similarity in deaths paved way for suspicion.
Even though relatives had said that Roy Thomas died of heart attack, after certain allegations, autopsy was conducted on his body which found traces of poison. Police had arrived at the conclusion that it was a case of suicide.
After Rojo lodged a complaint, police had questioned some people. The contradiction in their statements also increased suspicion. Following this a decision was taken to exhume and examine the bodies.