How footprint helped police crack woman’s murder

The police nabbed him after three days from Ambasamudram with the help of their Tamil Nadu counterpart. 

Published: 26th January 2023 06:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th January 2023 06:32 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: The sensational murder of Kanniammal, a 38-year-old Tamil woman, by her husband Mariyappan, 45, at a rented house near Sreevaraham in Thiruvananthapuram was reported in September 23, 2018. Soon after the crime, he fled to Tamil Nadu. The police nabbed him after three days from Ambasamudram with the help of their Tamil Nadu counterpart. 

The state police probed the case with the help of scientific and circumstantial evidence. The forensic reports that traced the footprint also helped the prosecution win the case. Mariyappan, who was running a scrap business, killed Kanniammal over suspicion of her infidelity. 

The immediate provocation behind the murder was that she smiled at a few men at a movie house. He had a fight with her after returning home, which culminated in the murder. Later, when their son Manikandan, who was working as a pizza delivery boy at an eatery, came home, he found his mother lying in a pool of blood at 11.30 pm. The statement of the neighbours that they had seen Mariyappan leaving the house on a scooter around 9.30 pm turned the needle of suspicion towards him.

The police managed to retrieve his mobile phone, which he discarded near Peroorkada. After receiving an alert from the city police, the Ambasamudram police detained the suspect and informed the Kerala police. A team from Kerala brought him back to the city. 

J K Dinil, the then Fort Assistant Commissioner of Police, had overseen the investigation while the then Fort inspector A Ajichandran Nair investigated the case. Dinil told TNIE that scientific probe proved Mariyappan was the culprit. 

“In many cases, obtaining footprint and identifying it was difficult. In this case, we obtained clear footprint and it was identified. Soon after the murder, we knew that the culprit was Mariyappan. Since there were no eyewitnesses, the challenge was to collect evidence. Scientific and circumstantial evidence were against him,” said Nair, who is now Kanjiramkulam inspector.

On August 25 last year, the Additional District and Session Court in Thiruvananthapuram sentenced Mariyappan to life imprisonment. “It is clear that there is no direct evidence in the crime. The prosecution is fully resting on circumstantial evidence,” the court observed. Dinil said this was the same verdict in the murder of the Latvian woman at Kovalam. 

The turning point was that the couple’s sons — Manikandan and Ganesh — testified against their father. Ganesh also testified that Mariyappan used to torture her.

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