Case diary: Blurry visuals lead to interstate hunt

Case diary: Blurry visuals lead to interstate hunt

This weekly column brings you exciting, intriguing  police stories, straight from  the crime files

KOCHI: It was a frigid morning in Kochi, when a 41-year-old man from Kollengode in Palakkad, Santhosh, was stabbed to death near the Ambedkar Stadium on February 3. The murder took place in the wee hours, and police who arrived at the scene found little clues left behind. 

It initially seemed destined to be another unsolved mystery. However, a glimpse of a figure caught on CCTV gave investigating officers their first lead. Though the image was dark and blurry, they managed to identify a few key physical features of the suspect – he was young and lean.

The hunt began. An analysis of other CCTV footage led the officers to the Ernakulam North railway station. They discovered that only two trains had passed through the station during the time when the suspect was in the area. The officers then checked CCTV footage from Aluva railway station, the first stop for both trains, but found no one matching the suspect’s description.

Investigation shifted to Thrissur railway station, the next common stop. The CCTV footage revealed the suspect getting off the train. The investigation team then scoured the footage from the nearby bus stands and spotted the suspect boarding a private bus.

“We zeroed in on the bus and located the house of the accused. But, the suspect managed to flee before the police could reach the spot,” says Central Police Station Inspector S Vijayasankar. “Upon inquiry, we found that the accused had contacted one of his friends. He was looking for a job in Chikkamagaluru.”

With the suspect’s mobile phone switched off, police faced a daunting task. But they traced his friend and devised a plan. The friend was made to contact the suspect over another phone number the latter had purchased after the murder. He convinced the suspect that there was another job opening in an inter-state lorry agency, where he could earn Rs 1,500 a day.

The trap was set. The suspect, identified as Agnan, 21, from Varantharappalli in Thrissur, took the bait. He was asked to come to a spot in Chikkamagaluru, where a police team lay in wait. Agnan was picked up by the officers upon his arrival. During interrogation, Agnan confessed to the crime. Thanks to the dogged determination of the Kochi city police, Santhosh got justice.

Case diary
This weekly column brings you exciting, intriguing  police stories, straight from  the crime files

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