Jolly Joseph and 3 accused remanded to police custody for six days
Court: Jolly Joseph and 3 accused remanded to police custody for six days Image Credit: Social media

Kozhikode: Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra admitted on Saturday that cyanide serial killer Jolly Amma Joseph's case is a very challenging one as there is a gap of 14 years between the first and the sixth alleged killing.

He also did not rule out himself questioning the prime accused, Jolly.

Behra, who reached Vatakara to assess the progress of the preliminary investigation, said six teams would conduct inquiries.

After lengthy meetings with the police probe team investigating the murder trail, Behra said: "This is a challenging case. I have come here, as this is an important case.

"Six murders have taken place and hence there are six separate cases.

"The challenge in this case is that the first murder took place 17 years back and the last one took place three years back and hence collection of evidence is most crucial."

"There are six murders and six cases. The first death happened in 2002. We will have to collect evidence. Will have six probe teams and the SP will head the supervisory team.

We will discuss the matter with legal experts," Behra told reporters.

Noting that it was a "challenging case", the DGP said, "We will be discussing with the forensic team. They might suggest conducting various tests."

"Earlier, there was no case. Then we got the complaint. Now the preliminary probe is going well. This is a team work. We will provide all neccessary help to the probe team," he said.

He spoke to the media, before heading into another brain storming session.

All the mysterious deaths took place in the family of retired government official Tom Thomas and all six dead bodies were exhumed last week for the further scientific investigations.

Behra also pointed out though that nothing is impossible for the investigators.

"There will now be several tests that has to take place and my job is to assist the team. At the moment the task of the probe team is to get maximum information from her.

"We are optimistic, there will be some traces left somewhere," added Behra.

The first in the family to die in 2002 was Jolly's mother-in-law Annamma, a retired teacher. She was followed by Jolly's father-in-law, Tom Thomas, in 2008. In 2011, their son and Jolly's husband, Roy Thomas, also died to be followed by the death of Roy's maternal uncle, Mathew, who died in 2014.

The two-year-old child of Sily, a relative by marriage, died the following year, while Sily passed away in 2016.

It was only on Friday that the police registered five more separate cases of murder.

It was on Thursday, a lower court here remanded Jolly and her two accomplices -- M.S. Mathew, who procured cyanide, and jewellery store worker Praju Kumar -- to six-day police custody for the murder of Jolly's husband Roy Thomas.

On Friday, all the three accused were taken to six places as part of evidence collection. It was part of investigation into the death of Jolly's first husband Roy Thomas.