The Kerala police on Tuesday expressed the apprehension that forensic experts might find it challenging to trace signs of cyanide poisoning in the long-entombed bodies of victims in the Kozhikode serial murder case.
Six persons, including three in a family in the district’s Koodathayi village were allegedly killed between 2002 and 2016.
Jolly Joseph, 45, is the prime suspect in the case. She allegedly murdered her husband Roy Thomas, father-in-law Tom Thomas, mother-in-law Annamma Thomas, Annamma’s brother Mathew Manchadiyil, and close relatives Sily and her two-year-old daughter Alphine Shaju.
The alleged motive was to grab the property of the Thomas family and marry Shaju Zacharia, Sily’s husband.
State Police Chief Loknath Behara said the considerable lapse of time between the crimes and forensic exhumation of the bodies might hobble the investigation’s effort to establish the presence of cyanide in the bodies interred for years. However, investigators hoped to circumvent the complication by building a singularly strong chain of circumstantial evidence to bolster their case against the prime accused Jolly.
The police have sought the help of international experts and foreign laboratories to find out whether there was any method to establish that the victims had ingested poison scientifically.
Mr. Behara said he had identified a few laboratories in Europe, Canada and the U.S. which might possess the expertise to identify signs of poisoning in disintegrated corpses.