The 11-year-old girl was found dead in the Muttar river in Ernakulam district on March 22 and her father has been missing ever since.

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news Crime Sunday, April 11, 2021 - 19:56

The family of the 11-year-old girl who was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Kochi has raised suspicions over the financial dealings of the girl’s father, who has been missing ever since the child’s body was found. According to the brother of the girl’s missing father, the latter had a major financial crisis and some men whom he owed money had come to his house searching for him two days before he went missing and the girl was found dead.

It was on March 22 that Durga* was found dead in the Muttar river in Ernakulam district, 9 km from her apartment in Kangarapady. The child’s body was discovered a day after the family filed a complaint with the Kochi police that she and her father Rajesh* were missing.

The mystery deepened with the police finding blood stains at the family’s apartment, samples of which have been sent for forensic analysis. Meanwhile, a witness had told the police that they saw Rajesh carrying Durga on his shoulders to his car on the night of March 20.

“We don’t believe that Rajesh was involved in the death of the child. They were close as a family,” Rajesh’s brother told Asianet News.

He also added that Rajesh, who was working in Pune earlier, had severe financial issues and owed money to some people. “Rajesh’s wife told me that two days before this incident happened, some men who were owed money had come to the house in search of him. Though she didn’t hear what they discussed or whether any threats were raised, we hope this is also being investigated,” Rajesh’s brother said.

He added that Rajesh had quit his business in Pune due to his financial problems. “I also work in Pune, the police have taken statements from me regarding Rajesh’s work there,” he added.

According to the police, Durga’s post-mortem report states that she died by drowning and that there were no signs of sexual assault. However, visceral samples have been sent for forensic analysis.

Though initially it was assumed that the child’s father could have also drowned, the police later found that his car had crossed the interstate border at Walayar. With this, the probe was expanded to other states.

Two days before the child’s body was found, she had gone with her father to her mother’s relative’s house in Alappuzha to drop her mother there. “They had said that they’d be visiting another relative after that, but they didn’t go there too,” Rajesh’s brother said.

(*Names changed to protect identity)

Read: Child-health indicators show worsening condition of children in Kerala

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