The police in Kerala say they are close to cracking a murder case involving the mysterious deaths of six people in a family over a span of 14 years. As part of a new probe launched following a complaint filed by a member of the family, police officials exhumed the bodies of five people and have arrested a suspect.
Police officials said they have found a pattern in the way all the family members died and have found signs suggesting they were poisoned.
Annamma, 57, the wife of a government official Tom Thomas, who lived in Kerala's Kozhikode, was the first to die in 2002. Tom Thomas, 66, died under similar circumstances in 2008. Their son, 40-year-old Roy, died in 2011.
In April 2014, Annama's brother Matthew, 68, became the fourth victim and in the same year in May, 2-year-old Alphine died. The last victim from the family was Alphine's mother Fili, a relative by marriage. She died in 2016.
All the victims' bodies, except Roy's, were exhumed by the police from different graveyards. Roy's body was not dug out because his post mortem examination was completed right after his death, the police said. The new complaint was filed by Roy's brother Rojo Thomas.
The police suspect the involvement of Roy's wife in connection to the death of her husband and have arrested the woman. She was reportedly present at all the places where the deaths occurred, officers said. However, her connection to the deaths of the other family members is still being probed, according to officials.
"Roy's wife Jolly has been arrested for her alleged involvement based on preliminary investigation. The larger probe in relation to the five other deaths is underway," a police official said.