At first, it appeared like an accidental fire. Then three charred bodies were found from the house. When a fourth body was found in the bathroom, cut into pieces and stuffed into a sack, the police confirmed it to be a case of murder. The accused then said he did it as a supernatural experiment, and now, the police have denied that too, and state that it is a case of murder for vengeance.
The bodies of Dr. Jean Padma (58), retired medical superintendent of the General hospital, her husband Professor Raj Thankam (60), daughter Caroline (25) and a 70-year-old relative Lalitha were found from their house in Nandancode in Thiruvanthapuram a few days back.
With the couple's son Cadell Jeansen Raja missing from the house and the police recovering a half-burned dummy from the house, it did not take the investigating officers long to narrow down on their suspect.
The murder of a four-member family in Nandancode in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram has shaken the people and the police alike.
A day after the murder came to light, Cadell was arrested from Thampanoor police station in the district. In the two days that followed, Cadell told the investigation team that he murdered his family as an experiment to witness astral projection- to see their souls leaving their bodies. But, he continuously changed his statements to the police.
However, at the end of a night-long interrogation on Tuesday with the help of psychiatrists, a senior police official probing the case told TNM that Cadell had murdered his family for revenge of having neglected him for years.
Cadell's statement that he had killed them as part of astral projection experiment, was a fabricated story, the police said. However, there are other reports which now state that his father was allegedly involved in lewd conversation with other women, that disturbed Cadell. This is being reported as the reason for Cadell's vengeance towards his father.
Neglect from family
It is the years of neglect Cadell faced from his family members that led to the murder, the police said.
"From a very young age, Cadell says that his parents never favoured him. They would always project their younger daughter as the successful one, and not take Cadell for any social events. This inferiority complex had plagued him for years," DCP Arul Krishna told TNM.
Cadell, an introvert who preferred to confine to his room all day, developed an inclination to astral projection at the age of 15, a police source said.
"He would look up on the internet and learn how to practice astral projection. When he went to Australia after his 12th standard, he got all the more freedom and environment to practice it," the police official said.
Ever since the murder was reported, regional media reports stated that 30-year-old Cadell had studied artificial intelligence from Australia. However, the police official said that it was a story his parents had created, to safeguard their social reputation.
"Cadell went to Australia to study medicine, but he dropped out. He then joined some nursing course and did not complete that too. Later, he spent some time in Australia doing some odd jobs and returned home sometime between 2009 and 2010. He was interested in creating video games and used to make many through open source software freely available on the internet. His parents had propagated the idea that Cadell studied artificial intelligence, when in reality, he did practically nothing after coming back from Australia," the officer said.
Meanwhile, Cadell has been sent to police custody till April 17.