A four-member family was found dead at Nandancode in Thiruvananthapuram district, near the Kerala Chief Minister’s official residence on Sunday.
The deceased are identified as Dr Jean Padma, a retired government doctor, her husband Professor Raj Thankam, daughter Caroline and grandmother Lalitha.
Police say that the couple’s son Cadell Jeansen Raja is absconding. Three bodies were found in a completely burnt state. One body, found in the bathroom, was cut into pieces and stuffed into a sack.
Weapons including an axe used to hack the dead body were found by the police near the house.
A post-mortem will be carried out on the bodies to determine the cause of death.
Neighbours had informed police and fire officials on Sunday morning that smoke was coming from the house. After the fire was extinguished, the police recovered the four bodies.
Police say that based on the state of the bodies, the murder may have taken place a few days ago. They also believe that the killer may have set the house on fire to destroy evidence.
The last time the neighbours had seen Cadell was on Saturday, when he told them that he was going to Ooty. Cadell was working in Australia while his sister Caroline, who was pursuing her MBBS in China had come home for her vacation. Police also say that neighbours had noticed a change in Cadell’s behaviour for the last few days.
Cadell had reportedly told his relatives that his family had gone to Kanyakumari for a vacation when they were unable to reach his mother Dr Jean Padma on her phone.