Over two months after a woman’s body, which was sealed in a barrel filled with concrete, washed ashore in Kochi, the police have cracked the case.
The woman, identified as 54-year-old Shakuntala, was the wife of a man named Damodaran. The police said that Shakuntala was killed by Sajith, the man her daughter was in a relationship with.
The police said that Shakuntala’s daughter divorced her husband, and was in a relationship with Sajith. Shakuntala had allegedly expressed her displeasure about the relationship.
According to the police, Sajith took his own life by consuming potassium cyanide.
The police caught hold of Sajith’s friend, who revealed important information to the police, and reportedly helped Sajith bury Shakuntala’s body.
The police believe the body was more than a year old when it was discovered.
The body was discovered when a blue barrel washed ashore in Kochi’s Kumbalam. The barrel, which was filled with concrete, lay abandoned for a few months till the residents reported it to the police.
When the police broke open the barrel, they found skeletal remains. From the hair and a silver anklet, they identified it to be a woman’s body.
After Shakuntala’s body was discovered, the forensic test conducted revealed that she had undergone a leg surgery, and the police discovered a malleolar screw in her left leg.
In the probe that followed, the police discovered that the recovered screw was part of a batch that was used in surgeries on six people at the same hospital in Thrippunithura.
The police then traced the batch number of the screw, and then traced five people. The details of the sixth person remained unknown.
When the police further investigated, they found that an Udayamperoor native had earlier checked in to a hospital in Thrippunithura for a fractured ankle. From there, the police tracked down Shakuntala’s daughter and following a DNA test, they confirmed Shakuntala’s identity.
The case was first reported in January 2018. Shakuntala reportedly went missing in September 2016. Shakuntala was reportedly estranged from her family, which is why she had not been reported as missing.