Kerala: Theft case reveals double murder, police recover skeletal remains

On March 2, Kattappana police arrested Nitheesh and Vishnu in connection with a theft case. A week later, the police were investigating two murders based on their confession.
Visjnu's house in Kanchiyar (left), Nitheesh (right)
Visjnu's house in Kanchiyar (left), Nitheesh (right)Screengrab/YouTube/Mathrubhumi News
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A routine investigation in a theft case in Kerala’s Idukki district has resulted in the detection of two murders, with one victim being a five-day-old infant. What started with a complaint of breaking into a vehicle workshop led to a confession of two murders from one of the two people arrested for the theft. On March 10, the Kattappana police recovered human skeletal remains from Kanchiyar village and are now attempting to look for another body. 

On March 2, the Kattappana police received a call from the owner of a workshop for heavy vehicles, who said that some thieves had broken into his workshop. Acting on the complaint, the police soon arrested 27-year-old Vishnu and 31-year-old Nitheesh on the same day.

During their investigation, the police found that Nitheesh had been living with Vishnu’s family since 2015. As a follow-up to their investigation, they visited Vishnu’s home and spoke to his mother, Suma, and that is when they became suspicious. They realised that Vishnu’s father, Vijayan, was missing and neither Suma nor Vishnu’s sister could answer convincingly about his whereabouts. The police also noticed that a portion of the floor was freshly laid with concrete.

On questioning the two theft suspects, the police got a chilling confession from Nitheesh. Not only had Vijayan been killed by Nitheesh, but he also confessed to the killing of a five-day-old baby, reportedly a child he had with Vishnu’s sister.

After a search, the Kerala police on Sunday, March 10, found human skeletal remains in the house of the two accused in Kanchiyar. Police took the accused to their native places, Kanchiyar and Kattappana, to collect the evidence after they admitted to the murders.

According to the police, Vishnu’s sister reportedly had a child with Nitheesh in 2016. As she was unmarried, Vijayan, Nitheesh, and Vishnu decided to kill the newborn as they were worried the family would lose face. They killed and buried the five-day-old boy in a cowshed near their house in Kattappana. Later, the family relocated to a rented house in Kanchiyar, nearly 8 km from Kattappana. 

Nearly seven years later, in August 2023, Vijayan was killed by Nitheesh after a heated argument. Nitheesh confessed to the police that he killed Vijayan by hitting him on the head with a hammer. Vijayan’s wife, Suma, and Vishnu helped Nitheesh dig the floor and bury the body in the rented house. The remains will be sent for DNA testing to confirm the identity. The police are yet to trace the remains of the infant.

The Kattappana police have booked Nitheesh, Suma, and Vishnu for Vijayan and the infant’s murder in two separate FIRs under sections 302 (punishment for murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 201 (destroying the evidence/giving false information), and 34 (criminal act done by several persons).

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