Veteran leaves home after getting his obit published

It was not immediately clear why Joseph Melukkunnel chose to go into oblivion but the police suspect that health problems could explain the decision.

Kottayam: Joseph Melukkunnel died at the age of 75, read the obit reports in various newspapers in Kerala. The man from Thaliparamba near Kannur had got his obit published before leaving his home on November 29. He was found by the police from a hotel room in Kottayam on Monday.

It was not immediately clear why the old man chose to go into oblivion but the police suspect that health problems could explain the decision. The police investigating a complaint by Joseph’s wife Marykutty got a clue about the missing person when he went to a bank in Kottayam to settle an account.

Joseph wanted the secretary of an agriculture development bank to close his account and send the money and a gold chain kept in safe custody to his wife in Thaliparamba. He told the banker that Joseph had died of a heart attack and his belongings be sent to his wife.

He persisted even after he was told that the bank had no mechanism to do so. The banker then called his counterpart in Thaliparamba but the strange visitor vanished soon after. The police later traced him to the lodge room where he was put up since he left home.

He had personally went to the newspaper bureaus in Thaliparamba last week to hand over his obit report along with a photo. When suspicious news agents pointed out the uncanny resemblance of the visitor to the photo of the deceased, he said it was his older brother.

The obit said the funeral would be held in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday after a wake at his son’s house at Jagathy.

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