Nearly four months after 19-year-old Kerala student Jesna Maria James went missing, the police have got information that she was spotted at the Bengaluru airport on May 5.
Thiruvalla DySP Chandrasekhar told TNM, “We received a tip-off that Jesna was spotted at the Bengaluru airport on May 5. We have sent a team to Bengaluru.”
Jesna had gone missing on March 22 when she was on her way from her house in Vechoochira in Pathanamthitta district to her aunt’s house near Mundakkayam in the neighbouring Kottayam district. While CCTV visuals showed Jesna boarding a bus from Erumeli to Mundakkayam and also showed her traveling in the bus, the police could not verify what happened to the BCom student after she boarded the bus.
The police had in May received a tip-off that the young woman was seen in Bengaluru’s Madiwala. While the Special Investigation Team (SIT) did visit Bengaluru, they did not find any leads.
The latest tip-off also comes more than a week after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) retrieved CCTV footage from a shop in Mundakkayam, which showed a woman resembling Jesna walking past at around 11.45 am on March 22.
Police sources told TNM that it was not confirmed whether the CCTV footage from Mundakayam showed Jesna. Jesna's lookalike Aleesha, who lives in the same village had confirmed that it was not her in the footage. However, the police have not been able to confirm who the young woman in the visuals are, as Jesna's family has denied it was her. The woman can be seen holding two bags and walking down a road.
However, the statements from Jesna’s neighbours suggested that she had left home wearing a salwar kameez and had a bag in her hand.
Malayalam television channels also earlier reported that a male classmate of Jesna’s, who was earlier questioned by the police, was also seen walking past the shop about 6 minutes after Jesna had passed by.
Earlier, the police had confirmed that Jesna had made several calls to this friend and her last text message to him before she disappeared was that she was going to die. However, police say that since the two are not seen together in the CCTV footage, there is no reason to suspect the man.
“He lives nearby, and he has already told us that he was in Mundakkayam on the day Jesna disappeared. So there’s nothing suspicious about it,” the officer had then said.