Kochi: Nearly two months after a body was found stuffed in a barrel that was dumped along the backwaters of Kumbalam, a DNA test has identified the victim. The woman is suspected to be an Udayamperoor native, who was reported to be missing in September 2016.
The body was scantly clad when it was found on January 7. It was bundled headlong into the barrel and covered in concrete. There were three 500-rupee notes in the barrel.
The barrel found in the lake near the Shantivanam crematorium was an object of mystery to the local people. After Manorama reported the find, the police visited the spot and broke open the barrel.
The barrel mystery had made headlines and the police made extensive searches to identify the victim. A malleolar screw that was found on the woman's body proved to be the crucial turning point in the case. The 6.5-cm screw was found attached to the ankle joint of the victim’s left foot.
Till then, the police were groping in the dark without any lead on the victim. The police then traced the batch number of the screw with the help of SH Pitkar Orthotools Private Limited, Pune, which manufactured the surgical implant, commonly used to fix fractured bones of ankle and foot.
They then further narrowed down the list and found that only six malleolar implants were used in the treatment of fractured bones by hospitals in Kerala during the past two-and-a-half years,
The police identified and took statements from five of them, but one person remained elusive.
The cops then found that an Udayamperoor native had undergone treatment for fractured ankle at a private hospital in Thrippunithura. However, the woman did not return to the hospital for further treatment.
As the woman was leading a lonely life, her estranged family did not care to inform the police that she was missing. The police, however, were able to locate her daughter and a DNA test has now confirmed that her mother was the victim.
Even though the police have identified the victim, they did not divulge more details. More details about how and why the woman was murdered were not immediately known.
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