Koodathayi mass murders: Police to approach foreign lab to detect cyanide traces

Express News Service | Published: 09th October 2019 10:20 AM
Police exhuming bodies of the family members who died under mysterious circumstance, from their graves at Koodathayi. (Photo | EPS)

KOZHIKODE:  The district Crime Branch team probing the sensational multiple murder at Koodathayi is finding it hard to collect scientific evidence in the case as chances of tracing cyanide from the decomposed body parts of victims are grim. The probe team does not have much hope in the forensic tests of the mortal remains at forensic labs in the country. Hence, the police are likely to approach an advanced forensic lab in a foreign country. 

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Presently, samples of tooth, hair and vertebra collected from the graves of the victims are at the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory in Kannur. And, the results are expected in a week. However, the probe team is not expecting positive results from the lab. In the second attempt, the samples will be sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Hyderabad. As a final effort, the police will approach a foreign forensic lab.

Rural SP K G Simon said, “It has been decided to send the samples to an advanced laboratory in a foreign country if the forensic tests held in the country fail in trace analysis. The state police chief has already given his approval for the same.  However, we are awaiting the results from the regional lab in Kannur and, later, the samples will be sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Hyderabad as a second attempt. In the last attempt, we will approach the foreign lab with the consent of the court.”

Shaju as approver

Since collecting scientific evidence substantiating the crime is hard, the Crime Branch is trying to include more witnesses in the case. In addition, Shaju, husband of prime accused Jollyamma, may be listed as an approver.

Hinting at this, a police source said, “Shortage of scientific evidence will definitely weaken the case in the court. Hence, an approver is must in the case.” However, the officer did not confirm Shaju’s name.

Probe team to be expanded

The Crime Branch team led by DySP Haridas on Monday interrogated Shaju for hours and received vital information about the involvement of Jolly in the serial murders. The probe team has directed Shaju to inform the police if he has to leave the district for any purpose. On Tuesday, the team recorded statements of siblings of deceased Sily, first wife of Shaju—her brother Sijo Sebastian and sister Smitha Sebastian—at the district Crime Branch office at Payyoli.

Death of other five victims to be investigated too

The police have also decided to expand the investigation team to go beyond Roy Thomas’ death and launch a probe into the death of the remaining five victims. For the purpose, a separate probe team will formed in each of the murder cases after registering separate FIRs. The investigation team will move the court to get the three accused under police custody for further interrogation and evidence collection. Jolly is now under judicial custody at Kozhikode women’s jail, while M S Mathew and Preji Kumar are at the Kozhikode district jail.  SP Simon said an application will be filed before the court to get the accused under police custody for 15 days on Wednesday.

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Relatives of Ramakrishnan, who allegedly had a close relationship with Jolly and died in circumstances similar to the death of six victims, approached the district rural police chief seeking an investigation into his death. Ramakrishnan’s son Rohit lodged a complaint with the Rural SP in this regard. The police will take a decision on investigating the case later.

Tags : forensic tests Koodathayi mass murders cyanide Kerala Serial Murders Jolly Jolly Joseph Kerala crime

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