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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Kerala cyanide case accused may be linked to more murders: Cops

On Saturday, Jolly was arrested from Kozhikode’s Koodathai village in connection with six deaths in her family between 2002 and 2016.

india Updated: Oct 10, 2019 04:22 IST
Snigdha Poonam and Ramesh Babu
Snigdha Poonam and Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Kozhikode
The police have also arrested two men, M Mathew and Praju Kumar, for allegedly helping her execute the murders. Jolly had been present at the scene of each of these deaths.
The police have also arrested two men, M Mathew and Praju Kumar, for allegedly helping her execute the murders. Jolly had been present at the scene of each of these deaths.(HT image)
         

Family members of a Kozhikode resident have alleged his 2016 death was linked to Jolly Joseph, accused of killing six family members with cyanide, as investigation widened in the case and police indicated that there might have been more victims.

A 22-year-old man named Rohith M told police on Monday that his father, Ramakrishnan, a political worker who sold real estate to a friend of Jolly’s, was likely killed by her in 2016. He added that his suspicions were triggered by the circumstances of the death. “My father came home, ate food and then collapsed and died,” he added.

Police said they had noted down the complaint. “But we cannot examine the body to verify his suspicion because it was cremated and not buried. Still, her involvement has not been ruled out,” said KG Simon, the investigating officer in the case.

On Saturday, Jolly was arrested from Kozhikode’s Koodathai village in connection with six deaths in her family between 2002 and 2016. The police have also arrested two men, M Mathew and Praju Kumar, for allegedly helping her execute the murders. Jolly had been present at the scene of each of these deaths. “There was vomiting, frothing at the mouth, dilating of eyelids, redness spreading from chest to throat,” said KG Simon.

Simon said he had received information about several other people having similar suspicion about deaths in their families but that no one apart from Rohit had filed a formal police complaint. Local lawyers have refused to represent Jolly.

Jolly’s sister-in-law, Renji Thomas, alleged the 47-year-old tried to kill other members of the family by dropping cyanide into their food. Among the intended victims were Thomas’ brother, Rojo Thomas, herself, and her young daughter, she alleged. She said they escaped the attempts by either refusing the food or getting medical attention before the damage was done.

Simon said he also received information that Jolly had tried to kill the young daughter of a woman named Jayasree, an additional tahsildar suspected of helping Jolly forge documents relating to the property of her late husband’s family.

The officer said that after weeks of meeting people, visiting places and going through the history of similar killings, he suspected that Jolly’s victims may have numbered more than six. “There is a gap of 2-3 years between one murder and another. We are looking into the possibility of there being other cases,” he said.

The first to die was Jolly’s mother-in-law, Anamma Thomas, in 2002; the second was her father-in-law, Tom Thomas in 2008; the third was her husband, Roy Thomas in 2011; the fourth was a brother of Anamma, Mathew M, in 2014; the fifth was the daughter of her husband’s cousin, Alphine, in 2016; and the sixth was Alphine’s mother, Sily Scaria, later in 2016. All of them died after consuming food and showed symptoms of cyanide poisoning before their collapse.

First Published: Oct 09, 2019 23:47 IST

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