An unidentified rickshaw-puller and his woman accomplice allegedly bludgeoned to death the 65-year-old wife of his landlord and looted Rs 40,000 in cash and gold earrings from her in Field Gunj area.
After the murder, the accused packed the body in a trunk and locked the room that they had taken on rent, before fleeing.
The deceased, Jarnail Kaur, was missing since Monday morning, following which her husband, Raj Singh, had approached the Division Number 2 police and filed a missing report.
The murder came to light on Tuesday when neighbours noticed foul smell emanating from the room that was rented out to the rickshaw-puller. They broke open the locked room, and were shocked to find a dead Jarnail dumped inside a trunk, following which they sounded the police.
On receiving information, Ludhiana central assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Deepak Hilori and Division Number 2 police reached the spot and initiated investigation.
Claiming that Rs 40,000 in cash and his wife's gold earrings were missing, Raj Singh, a labourer, told the police that they had rented out a room to a rickshaw-puller and his woman accomplice, who he said was his sister, around a week ago.
"The family did not go for police verification of the tenants. Moreover, the couple did not ask about names and permanent address of the tenants before renting out the room," the ACP said.
"After the body was recovered, during investigation, the shawl and slippers of the deceased were found in another room that was also locked. The walls of the room were stained with blood. The accused seem to have murdered the woman in this room before dumping the body in a trunk and locking it up in another room," he added.
"The injuries on the victim's head seem to have been caused through a blow by a blunt weapon or by hitting the head against a wall," Hilori said.
He added that the police had launched a manhunt for identification and arrest of the accused, and the body had been sent to the civil hospital for autopsy.
The Division Number 2 police have registered a case of murder against the accused and initiated investigation.