Deaths soon after consuming food; police suspect murders in Koodathayi
Mananthavady: The deaths of six members of a family in Koodathayi within 12 years are suspected to be murders. After exhuming the bodies of the victims, probing officials told reporters that the deaths could be murders.
Vadakara rural SP K G Simon said all the victims died soon after consuming food. Apart from scientific proof, other evidences have also been obtained that point towards possible murder.
“It is suspected that some kind of external substance had entered the body of the victims. A final decision can be taken only if the reports of forensic examination is obtained,” he added.
Police have directed the persons linked to the murders not to go out of the station limit. Six members of a forensic team from Kozhikode medical college conducted the examination.
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, were exhumed later.
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.