VELLORE: With the arrest of two youth on Saturday, Vellore police claimed to have cracked the case of murder of an elderly couple under Viruthampet police jurisdiction three weeks ago.
The inquiry into the murder of sexagenarians John De Britto (67), a retired employee of TN Explosives Limited, and Rose Marie (60) revealed that the victims’ neighbour Sathish Kumar (26) and a friend Praveen, a college student, murdered the couple to settle their debt of `20,000. As no one else lived with the elderly couple, they turned into easy targets for the duo.
Sathish Kumar of Pudhapandi village in Kanniyakumari district and Praveen were staying together in a rented house in Viruthampet, said Superintendent of Police of Vellore P Vijayakumar.
The murder came to light on July 15, two days after the murder, when the milk vendor alerted the neighbours. “It was a pre-planned murder,” said a police officer privy to the investigation.
Police officials privy to details of the case said the scene of the crime indicated that the perpetrators were not habitual offenders and were known to the victims as there were no signs of forces entry into the house. “So, we arrived at a theory that the perpetrators were known persons and first time offenders. We inquired with all close relatives, neighbours and friends and persons who frequently visit the victims,” said the official.
There were no leads for nearly three weeks. However, the needle of suspicion pointed at Kumar. His activities made the investigating team suspicious. “The call logs of the six to seven suspected persons in the case helped police zero in on Kumar. After the murder, he left for his native place,” said the source.
Further inquiry revealed that Sathish frequently visited Britto to help him in document preparations. “He also became a family friend to Britto and took part in their family functions,” said police.
Around 8.15 pm on July 13, Kumar and Praveen went to Britto’s house and were let in. The duo overpowered the elderly couple and murdered them. After killing them, they took away the jewels, laptop, pen drive and a few thousands in cash from the house and sneaked out through the back door. “Before leaving the house they poured water and washed away their finger and footprints,” police added.
Police picked up Praveen for interrogation, during which he confessed to the crime. Based on the information, police also arrested Kumar.
Based on the confession statement, police registered a case against the duo on charges of murder for gain. Police also recovered the murder weapons and stolen valuables, in the presence of Katpadi Tahsildar Mani.
While Praveen was lodged in Borstal School, Kumar was remanded at the Vellore Central Prison for Men.