Malayali nurse and two kids found murdered in England; husband in police custody

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Anju and Saju with their children

London: A woman hailing from Kottayam’s Vaikkom and her two children were found dead at their house in Northampton, England on Thursday night. Police have taken the woman’s husband under custody as he reportedly fled from the scene after the incident.

The deceased have been identified as Anju (40), Janvi (4) and Jeeva (6). The person in police custody is Saju (52), a native of Kannur’s Padiyoor.

The incident came to light after Anju became unavailable on her phone. Family members and friends called her but with nil response. Later, some of her friends visited her house to enquire.

They identified that the house was locked from inside. Over suspicion, they informed the matter to police. The officials came in and broke open the door and saw Anju and kids in a pool of blood. Anju was dead, while the kids were seen critically injured. Though the children were rushed to hospital, they succumbed.

“We continue to work around the clock in order to progress this investigation and establish the timeline of events which led to these tragic deaths,” said Detective Inspector Simon Barnes, Senior Investigating Officer with Northamptonshire Police.

“Whilst we continue to process the scene of these murders, local residents will see an increased police presence and I am grateful for the support of the local community. We remain committed in seeking justice for Anju, Jeeva and Janvi, and although we are not seeking anyone else in connection with their deaths, I would still encourage anyone with any information to contact us,” he said.

Locally, tributes poured in for the nurse, who worked at Kettering General Hospital, and her children.

Her husband reportedly worked at a hotel and the family is believed to have been in the UK for around a year or so.

Asok was a Malayali nurse from Kottayam district in Kerala who was working for the National Health Service (NHS) at Kettering General Hospital, which paid tribute to its staff member.

“Anju Asok was an internationally trained nurse who joined our KGH family in 2021 and predominantly worked on Barnwell B – one of our Orthopaedic wards,” said hospital chief executive Deborah Needham.

“She was a committed and compassionate staff nurse, who was loved and respected by her dear friends and colleagues. All our thoughts are with her friends and family as they come to terms with this sudden loss,” she said.

Sarah Powell, head teacher at Kettering Park Infant Academy where the two children were enrolled, said the school was "devastated" by the news of the deaths.

"They were delightful and caring children who had many friends at our school. They will be sadly missed by us all," said Powell.

“All of us in Kettering find ourselves shocked by the news of the tragic deaths of three members of our community,” said Councillor Keli Watts, Mayor of Kettering.

“We all send our love and support to the friends and family of the victims and also to neighbours at Petherton Court. We all stand ready to support those affected,” she said. Councillor Jason Smithers, leader of local North Northants Council: "This is a tragic case and my thoughts are with the loved-ones of the victims at this time".

Earlier, Northamptonshire Police said officers are not seeking anyone else in relation to the “desperately sad” case.

“There are no words to describe how upsetting this incident is, but I want to reassure the public that we have a team of detectives working on the case, absolutely determined to get justice for this woman and the two children,” said Superintendent Steve Freeman, Local Policing Area Commander for Northamptonshire Police.

“We understand that the local community, and indeed many people across the country, will be shocked by this event. It is a desperately sad incident and I want to be absolutely clear on our unwavering commitment in establishing what has happened here and in seeking justice for this woman and these young children,” he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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