A 36-year-old housemaid and her male friend were arrested on Tuesday in connection with the murder of a retired woman professor at Kelambakkam on October 17.
Police said Pramila, the housemaid, returned to work on October 18 as if nothing had happened day after the murder of Hepsiba (59) at the latter’s apartment in Kelambakkam in neighbouring Kancheepuram district.
Though the needle of suspicion fell on the maid, there was not much evidence against her initially. The killers had taken away eight sovereigns of gold ornaments, `5,000 and a mobile phone from the apartment. The breakthrough in the case came by tracking the missing mobile phone, police said.
The phone, which was not switched off after the murder, was found to have been used by one Murugan in the same locality. He was traced and picked up for interrogation. During the course of investigation, Murugan confessed to have committed the murder with the help of Pramila who let him sneak into the house.
Murugan was a friend of Anbu, husband of Pramila. Murugan was in a relationship with the woman and was running short of money due to heavy spending on her.
According to police, Pramila suggested him that they could target Hepsiba whom she had seen wearing lot of jewellery during festivals. Subsequently, the duo hatched a plan to kill the retired professor who used to be alone after her son leaves for work during the day.
As planned, Pramila went to work on Thursday last, opened the doors to Murugan who hid in the kitchen. Once he got the signal from Pramila, he banged Hepsiba’s head on the wall. Hepsiba collapsed and the duo strangulated her before decamping with valuables.
To evade suspicion, Pramila reported for work the next day. Pramila was also taken into custody and she too has admitted to the crime, police said.