42-year-old Kerala nun found dead in well inside convent

The deceased nun has been identified as Mable Stephen alias Leya, a resident at the Pious Workers of St Joseph’s Convent at Kureepuzha in Kollam.
Representative image of a nun
Representative image of a nun
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A 42-year-old Kerala nun was discovered dead on Friday in a well inside the convent she was residing in. The incident happened at the Pious Workers of St Joseph’s Convent at Kureepuzha in Kollam, under the Anchalummoodu police station limits. The deceased nun has been identified as Mable Stephen alias Leya, a native of Karunagappally.

According to the police, the nun’s body was discovered inside the well by other residents of the convent around 8 am on Friday morning. After the nun had failed to turn up for the usual morning prayers, a search had been conducted.

Police said prima facie it was a case of suicide, and other details will be known only after the post-mortem and investigation. A suicide note, suspected to be written by the deceased nun, was recovered from her room, they said. An investigation is already underway into the incident.

According to the police, the inquest procedures have been completed and the body has been moved to the Government Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram for post-mortem.

There have been many past instances of nuns in Kerala being discovered dead inside wells in convent. In February this year, a 45-year-old nun, who was residing in a convent in Ernakulam district’s Vazhakkala, was found dead inside an abandoned quarry near the convent.

According to reports, at least 20 nuns have been found dead in wells across convents in Kerala since 1989. This includes the sensational Sr Abhaya murder case which happened in 1992.

In May last year, 21-year-old Divya P Johnny, studying to become a nun, was found dead in a well at her convent in Thiruvalla. In September 2018, another nun from Pathanapuram was found dead in a well near her convent. Fifty-five-year-old Sr Susan Mathew was a teacher at St Stephen school, Pathanapuram.

(With PTI inputs)


If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organisations that can offer emotional suppport to individuals and families.

Tamil Nadu

State health department's suicide helpline: 104

Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)

Andhra Pradesh

Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930

Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584


Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222


Maithri: 0484 2540530

Chaithram: 0484 2361161

Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.


State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104

Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200

SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 amd and 7 pm)

Aasara offers support to inidviduals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those  undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.

24x7 Helpline: 9820466726

Click here for working helplines across India.

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