KOZHIKODE: The Kerala Police have decided to conduct the Mitochondrial DNA analysis of the mortal remains of the six persons from a family at Koodathayi in Kerala’s Kozhikode district, abroad as it cannot be done in India.
“We will check if laboratories in India are equipped to conduct the extraction on older remains. If it is not available, we will send the samples abroad," said State Police Chief Loknath Behra.
“The investigation is quite challenging because of the absence of eye-witnesses and the lack of evidence. Extraction of DNA is a difficult process, especially on older remains. However, we have to overcome those challenges”, he added.
The serial murders came into light after the police began re-investigation into the case last Friday.
Six members of a family died between 2002 and 2016. The preliminary examination of the remains revealed that all the six had died after eating food.
In 2002, Annamma Thomas (57) had collapsed and died. However, the family treated it as a natural death. After six years, her husband Tom Thomas (66) had died.
In 2011, their son, Roy Thomas (40) had died, however, his autopsy report revealed poisoning before death.
In 2014, Annamma’s brother, Mathew Manjadiyil (67) had died and in 2016, their relative’s daughter, Alphonsa (2) died. Within a few months her mother, Sili (27), also died.
Later, Roy’s widow Jolly had married Sili’s widower Shaju and had claimed the ownership of the family property with the support of the last will prepared by her father-in-law.
However, Tom’s younger son Rojo challenged the transfer of ownership of family property and lodged complaints regarding the serial deaths.
Renji Thomas, sister of Jolly's first husband Roy, also said she became suspicious about Jolly's after she staked a claim for the family property using forged documents.
As per the investigation, Jolly Joseph is the prime suspect in the case. According to the police investigation, she had killed her husband Roy, his parents, and three others.
The police investigation found that Jolly was present in the locations when all six persons died. When the police asked her to undergo polygraph tests, she had refused it.
On October 4, as part of the probe, the police had opened family tombs to examine the reasons behind the deaths of six persons, who died under mysterious circumstances.
On October 5, the Crime Branch unit of Kozhikode police had taken her into custody after the autopsy of Roy’s body had revealed the presence of cyanide in his stomach.
Later, Jolly had confessed to all six murders and said she had used cyanide for killings.
Kerala Police also detained Jolly’s second husband Shaju and two more accused, who supplied cyanide to carry out the murders. Jolly’s second husband, Shaju Sakharia also confessed his role in the murders.
The other two accused has been identified as MS Matthew and Prajikumar. Matthew is a jewellery store employee and Prajikumar made ornaments for the jewellery store.