Thiruvananthapuram: Ahead of the funeral of a four-member family who were found dead in a car in Kerala’s northern district of Kasaragod on the Mayippadi-Kannur road, relatives and local people have expressed doubts about a foul play in the deaths. Pallikkal Sonykutty (46), his wife Thressiamma (39), and their son Jerin (12) and daughter Jewel (10) were found dead in a Maruti Alto car on Tuesday. Sonykutty was an electrician with Bharath Heavy Electricals Ltd, and Thressiamma a nurse with the Kasaragod general hospital. The family originally belonged to Banthadukka in Kasaragod.

Local people who found the car parked by the roadside with the bodies inside suspected there was a leak from the gas cylinder and informed police. Local reports say that police could not immediately open the doors of the car and could only do so with help from forensic experts. All four were found dead when the doors were opened.

Local people said today they were sure that Sonykutty would not take his life and those of his family members, and told local media persons that they suspected some foul play in the shocking incident. The family had moved from Banthadukka to Kudlu in Kasaragod over a decade back. Local people were quoted as saying that Sonykutty was the president of the local Vincent de Paul Society and a much-loved Sunday school teacher.

There are also reports that Sonykutty had been involved in some real estate deals and that he had been cheated by some of his acquaintances. Local people have demanded a thorough inquiry into the mysterious circumstances around the death of the family.

The suspicions grew even more after it was reported that blood stains were found near the front door of Sonykutty’s two-storied house in Kudlu. The house was found locked with the newspaper lying crumbled in the porch. Sonykutty’s bike and Jerin’s cycle were seen outside the house, and the front gate was open. A large crowd gathered at the Pariyaram Medical College where the bodies were taken for post mortem.