BODI: In what could make the serial killing of five senior citizens here murkier, bodies of two more senior citizens were exhumed for postmortem here on Tuesday.
The bodies of S Suruliyammal (85) and C Thangammal (80) were exhumed and cremated after postmortem. Doctor from K Vilakku GH collected a few bone pieces and samples from the dead body. Police had earlier exhumed the bodies of three senior citizen women, who were killed by one P Sethupathi Natraj (42) for their gold chains. He was arrested, subsequently.
According to police, on Nov 22, V Subbulakshmi (65) was found dead in Konampatti near Bodi. Initially, family members thought it to be a natural death and cremated the body. But, Dhanalakshmi, daughter of Subbulakshmi, raised doubts after the victim’s gold chain was found missing from the house. Based on the complaint of Dhanalakshmi, special teams were formed to investigate the murder. Meanwhile, a few more cases of suspicious deaths were also reported on November 28. In connection with the case, body of Subbulakshmi was exhumed on Nov 28 and postmortem confirmed the injury mark as natural. Later she was cremated at the Konampatti crematorium. Further, the bodies of P Bhagyavathi (68) and K Chinthamani (65) were also exhumed and cremated after postmortem.
During the course of investigation, Theni police on Nov 29 arrested a person suspecting him in the murders of five elderly women in six months to rob their jewels. Police said that P Sethupathi Natraj (42) of Rasingapuram, near Bodi, had got acquainted with these elderly widowed women living alone. Later, he murdered them one after the other in a span of six months.
Police secured him and on interrogation, it came to light that he had killed Bhagyavathi in June, Thangammal in July and Suruliyammal and Chinthamani in August, all from neighbouring areas of Rasingapuram.
According to Bodi DSP Srinivasa Perumal, “Sethupathi befriended the victims, while constructing a house at Konampatti. He used to smother them with a pillow to make it look like a natural death. Further, the accused would only steal gold chains and would not touch other jewels or valuables at home to avoid doubt. He even participated in their final rituals casually.”