Jolly murders: Medical board confirms all six deaths were due to poisoning

The medical board was formed to scientifically review the deaths in which Jolly Joseph is the main accused.
Jolly murders: Medical board confirms all six deaths were due to poisoning
Jolly murders: Medical board confirms all six deaths were due to poisoning
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In the latest update on the sensational Koodathayi serial murder case that jolted Kerala, a medical board report has confirmed that all six members of the family died due to poisoning. The report also stated that poisoning could be due to a poison like cyanide, media reports said. Police confirmed to TNM that the medical board had given a positive indication.

The six members of a family at Koodathayi in Kozhikode district died between the years 2002 and 2016. 47-year-old Jolly Amma Joseph, wife of one of the deceased, Roy Thomas, is the main accused in the case. Roy Thomas, his parents and three other relatives, including a two-year-old child, were the six who were found dead over the course of 14 years.

Among the six members who died, post mortem was only conducted for Roy Thomas. The medical board was formed to scientifically review the deaths of five other people. Jolly has been accused of killing the six members with cyanide.

“In the case of Roy Thomas, we were sure that he died because of cyanide poisoning. The post mortem report had clearly stated that. So the medical board was formed to confirm whether the other deaths were also because of poisoning. Though post-mortem was not done in cases except for Roy’s death, the persons were taken to hospital. So we had seized hospital records of the five persons. The medical board analysed it and took into consideration the statement of witnesses on the symptoms the persons had exhibited during their death. After analysing all this, the medical board had given us a positive feedback in the case,” DySP Haridasan R told TNM.

The medical board comprised of neurosurgeons, general medicine doctors and forensic surgeons of Kozhikode Medical College. The medical board had met at Kozhikode Medical College in the presence of investigation officers on Friday.

The medical board reportedly stated that the statement of witnesses matched its findings that the persons were poisoned.

When Jolly Amma Joseph was arrested, she initially had stated that two-year-old Alphine died due to choking on a piece of bread. Meanwhile, some witnesses had stated that the child had cried when the incident took place. However, the medical board has pointed out that, if it was a case of choking, as Jolly had stated, the child would not have been able to cry and must have lost consciousness.

Alphine was the child of Jolly’s present husband, Shaji with his first wife, Cily. Cily also died under mysterious circumstances in 2016.

The medical board's report can be a crucial turning point in the case and will strengthen the prosecution's case.

The six mysterious deaths

It all began in 2002, when Annamma Thomas, Jolly’s mother-in-law, died after consuming mutton soup. Six years later, in 2008, her husband, Tom Thomas, died after consuming a tapioca dish. At the time, it was believed that both of them died of a heart attack.

In 2011, Jolly’s first husband, Roy Thomas was found dead in the bathroom of his house. While the police said that the post-mortem revealed traces of cyanide in his body, the cause of death was stated as suicide.

On February 24, 2014, another family member, Mathew, Roy’s uncle and Annamma’s brother, collapsed and died in a hospital. Incidentally, it was Mathew who had demanded Roy's post-mortem.

Baby Alphine was the fifth victim. She was at her sibling’s Holy Communion when she died. Two years later, in 2016, Alphine’s mother, Cily, had a seizure after drinking water at a dentist clinic and died.  Both mother and daughter showed eerily similar symptoms — seizures, apnea and foaming in the mouth.

It was only after Roy’s brother Rojo filed a complaint in September that the investigations began, the six bodies were exhumed and later, Jolly was arrested. Two other accused — Mathew, a jewellery store owner, and Praji Kumar, a gold smith —  were held for allegedly supplying procuring and supplying cyanide to Jolly.

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