Two more people have been arrested in connection with a murder case involving the deaths of six members of a Kerala family over a span of 14 years. The two suspects - MS Mathew and Prajikumar - were taken into custody late Saturday night, hours after Jolly, the wife of one of the victims, was arrested. According to the police, the three suspects knew each other and it is believed Prajikumar supplied cyanide, a deadly poison, to Jolly.
Police believe Jolly was involved in the death of her husband. She was reportedly also present at all places where the five other deaths occurred, although her connection to other family members is still being probed.
"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 on Saturday.
The first of the six mysterious deaths occurred in 2002 - the victim was 57-year-old Annama, the wife of Tom Thomas, a government official who lived in Kozhikode district. Her husband, 66, died six years later under similar circumstances. In 2011, the couple's 40-year-old son Roy Thomas, who was married to Jolly, died.
Three years later, in April, Annama's brother Matthew, 68, became the fourth victim and the following month 2-year-old Alphine died. The last victim was her mother Fili, a relative by marriage. She died in 2016.
As part of the new investigation, which was started after a complaint from Rojo Thomas, Roy's brother, five bodies were exhumed from different graveyards; Roy's body was not exhumed because a post-mortem examination had already been completed in his case.
Police say they have discovered an underlying pattern connecting the six deaths and have found signs suggesting they were poisoned.