In the latest update in the alleged serial murder case in Kerala, the Crime Branch got the custody of the prime suspect, Jolly Joseph, for seven days, starting Thursday. Jolly and her two accomplices, MS Mathew and Praji Kumar, were handed over to the Crime Branch on Thursday afternoon. The three were produced before the Thamarassery Judicial First Class Magistrate court, which granted the transfer of custody.
Jolly, Mathew and Praji were brought to the court on Thursday morning from the Kozhikode district jail, where she was housed. The alleged serial killer will be questioned by the investigating officers on her involvement in the six mysterious deaths in her family that began in 2002.
The 47-year-old mother of two from Koodathayi in Kozhikode is the prime suspect in the murders and is believed to have killed six family members by allegedly lacing their food or water with cyanide. Mathew, a gold store owner, and Praji, a goldsmith, have been accused of procuring and supplying the poison.
So far, the police have registered an FIR (first information report) against her in the death of her first husband, Roy Thomas. The post mortem report of Roy Thomas, who died in September 2011, confirmed traces of cyanide in his body along with undigested food. The police are waiting to register cases for the five other deaths that Jolly is believed to have had a hand in.
The six bodies, which were exhumed on October 4, will be sent to the best laboratories in the country to check for traces of poison.
Meanwhile, the existing 10-member Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Ashok Yadav Range IG, has been expanded, as 25 more members were added to the team.
The sensational serial murder case involves the mysterious deaths of six family members between 2002 and 2016. Jollyâ€™s mother-in-law, Annamma died in 2002, and her father-in-law, Tom Thomas died in 2008, although nobody suspected any foul play. It was after Jollyâ€™s first husband, Roy Thomasâ€™s death in 2011 that a post-mortem was conducted, after which, traces of cyanide was found in his body. The deaths in the family continued: Annammaâ€™s brother Mathew M was found dead in February 2014; two-year-old Alphine died in May 2014; and Alphineâ€™s mother, Cily collapsed and died in January 2011.