Kozhikode: It has now emerged that Jolly Joseph, the prime accused in the Koodathayi serial murder case had allegedly kept away cyanide in the kitchen in order to commit suicide if she was caught in the act. The 47-year-old reportedly told the cops that she had kept it for her own consumption.
The police found the cyanide kept in a bottle that was hidden among old utensils and wrapped in clothes at the house of Ponnamattom family during an evidence collection on Monday night.
Jolly had told the police earlier on Monday that she had hidden an article, which was crucial to the case, in the house. Based on this, the police conducted another evidence gathering along with Jolly at the house on Monday night as her custody period was set to end on Tuesday.
Jolly was taken to the house after forensic examination. On Friday too she was brought here for evidence gathering.
Jolly was arrested earlier this month over the murder of her husband. The 47-year-old woman had then allegedly confessed that she had given cyanide-laced food or drink to kill the other five members of the family one after the another from 2002 to 2016.
Jolly has been accused of murdering her in-laws Tom Thomas and Annamma, first husband Roy, relatives Sily, Alphine and Mathew. Sily was the wife of Roy's cousin Shaju Sakharias and Alphine was the daughter of this couple. Mathew was Roy's maternal uncle.
After Sily's death, Jolly married Roy’s cousin Shaju.
Jolly feigned love to cheat us: Shaju's father
As police are set to take the statement of complainant Rojo Thomas today over the serial deaths in his family allegedly at the hands of his former sister-in-law Jolly Joseph, her current father-in-law claimed she had cheated the family by pretending to love them.
"Jolly cheated the family by feigning love. I cannot kill someone or be part of murder conspiracy," Sakharias said.
On Monday cops had questioned Jolly's second husband Shaju and his father Sakharias for 10 hours and let them off. Sakharias reportedly told the cops that both he and his son had no role in Jolly's wrongdoings.
The police had initiated a probe into six mystery deaths, unravelling a sinister plot to eliminate each member of the family one after the other over a period of 14 years, based on a complaint filed by Rojo, Roy’s brother.
As per the probe team's instructions, Rojo had returned to Kerala from the US on Monday. The probe team plans to question Jolly in the presence of Rojo. The investigators are set to record his statement's Tuesday.
All these years Rojo firmly believed his parents Tom Thomas and Annamma Thomas were murdered. He became suspicious after he realised Jolly's move to get hold of his father's property. Rojo had also found that Jolly was not working at the NIT, contrary to what she had claimed. However, the local police did not give much heed to Rojo's doubts. He then approached the Crime Branch, and in the ensuing probe Jolly was arrested, earlier this month.
The probe team had gathered information from Rojo over the phone as he was in the US. When Jolly was taken into custody, the officers got more information. But they did not get answers on some crucial questions. They hope to get more clarity during Tuesday’s interrogation.
The probe team believe that they would get crucial evidence on fake will through him. All methods would be pursued to get scientific evidence, said IT cell SP Divya Gopinath, who leads the team of technical experts that are part of the probe team.
Rojo, who arrived at the Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery, was taken to his sister Renji's house at Vaikom in Kottayam district on Monday with police escort. He is set to meet the investigators at Vatakara on Tuesday.
The two children of Roy and Jolly are also staying at Renji’s house. His relatives said that Rojo was under great mental stress over the shocking incidents in his family.
Rojo refused to talk to media.
Jolly had forged will
A probe by the Revenue Department has concluded that Jolly had forged documents to make a fake will in order to seize Tom's land, Deputy Collector C Biju, who led a departmental inquiry, stated.
Tax for Tom's land was paid in the name of Jolly and her husband Roy in 2009-10. Mutation of property records (pokkuvaravu) was also done. However, after Tom's other children objected, she allowed the tax to be remitted in the name of Rojo and others.
After Roy's death in 2001, Jolly had paid the tax for 2012-13.
It is alleged tehsildar Jayasree S Warrier had helped Jolly in forging the fake will.
The deputy collector had questioned Jayasree for nearly four hours on Monday.
The Indian Union Muslim League has suspended Omassery panchayat committee vice-president V K Imbichi Moyi, who had allegedly helped Jolly in forging the fake will.
The police had carried out raids at Moyi's house and his son's shop on Sunday. The League decided to suspend him after a political row was triggered over Moyi's links to Jolly.
Jolly’s kin questioned
The probe team has also taken the statements of Jolly's relatives and an astrologer at Kattappana in Idukki district. The Crime Branch team went to Jolly's house located at ITI Junction in Kattappana on Monday for questioning the family.
The team reportedly sought details on Jolly's childhood and educational qualification. The officers first recorded the statements of her parents and then of her three siblings.
The interaction extended from 8.30 am to 12 noon.
The police also questioned an astrologer named Krishna Kumar in Kattappana.
It was claimed an amulet that was found on the body of Roy was given by him. He was questioned in detail over this.
Krishna Kumar told the police that he could not recollect if Roy and Jolly had come to meet him. But the astrologer said that he can identify if the amulet was given by him if he could check it.
The officers also went to the MES College at Nedumkandam, where Jolly had pursued the Pre-Degree Course during 1988-90. The officers checked the records at the college. The police also collected information from the professors who taught Jolly and her collegemates.
Meanwhile, the college principal warned that legal action would be pursued against those who were circulating false reports against the institution by linking it to Jolly.
On Monday, the co-accused in the case Mathew and Prajikumar, who were also arrested along with Jolly, were also questioned. Both of them were questioned individually and then together at the rural SP's office at Vatakara.