A purported case of mass suicide of a family by drowning near Dehradun got murkier on Wednesday, when the body of a male member was founding hanging from a tree.
Manoj, 40, was found hanging at a tea estate in the nearby Harbhajwala village.
“No suicide note has been found near the body. He seems to have committed suicide on Tuesday night,” said SS Bisht, in-charge of Patel Nagar police station.
Three sisters—Hemant, 34, Ranita, 28, and Sonu, 22—along with six children had allegedly jumped into the Shakti Canal in Vikasnagar on Tuesday, three months after the death of their eldest sibling Rekha, 35. Three of Rekha’s daughters were also among the dead.
The sisters’ mother Kailasho Devi, 58, was found lying unconscious near the canal.
A suicide note, supposedly written by one of the deceased family members, was found at the scene, saying they were taking the extreme step on their own.
The police recovered eight bodies and assumed two other family members, Ranita’s husband Manoj and Sonu, had also jumped into the canal.
The search for Sonu’s body is still on. The family belonged to Sewla Kalan area of Dehradun and had gone to Vikasnagar, around 40 km away, on Tuesday evening.
The police are struggling to ascertain the motive of the case. Preliminary investigations revealed the family was under depression since Rekha’s death due to an ailment.
“Devi has maintained that she was taken to the site of the suicide, but does not know anything about the motive,” said GN Goswami, senior superintendent of police.
(With agency inputs)