Fernandes was a small-time ganja peddler and habitual offender

In pursuit of evidence to solve a man-missing case where the man who went missing was suspected to have been murdered, the Saravanampatty Police on Saturday began digging a place in Maniakarampalayam, looking for skeletal remains.

According to the police sources, a team led by Saravanampatty Inspector T. Jothi began the operations in the presence of Revenue Department officials and doctors at the place where a well once stood to unearth the skeletal remains of R. Fernandes, 20, who went missing on October 2, 2005.

His mother Rajathi, however, had preferred a complaint only on March 12, 2010.

The parents took five years to lodge a complaint because they were on the look out for him and were under the assumption that he might have been serving a sentence or two for the offences and illegalities he had committed, the sources said.

Based on the complaint, the police had registered a case and were on the lookout for Fernandes.

During the course of the investigation into his disappearance, the police said that they obtained a tip-off that an accused arrested in another case, Soundararaj, could have had a role in Fernandes’ disappearance. The police had arrested Soundararaj in December 2013.

Based on his statement, the police picked up another person, Siva Vishnu, who spilled the beans saying that Soundararaj and he had murdered Fernandes in October 2005 following a dispute.

The police arrested Siva Vishnu and then took him into custody for further interrogation.

The police said that Vishnu confessed to the crime saying that following a dispute in selling ganja in Ganapathy, his friend, Soundararaj and he had slit Fernandes’ throat and stabbed him to death.

They then dumped his body into the defunct well, covered the body with poultry and meat waste to prevent the spread of odour and gradually dumped earth to cover up the crime. In due course, the well got closed.

Based on the information, the police begun efforts to dig the well.

They said they were looking for skeletal remains to ensure that the accused persons’ statements were true. The digging would take at least a fortnight or more as the well was said to be over 100 feet deep.

Fernandes was a resident of Thangammal Nagar First Street, Ganapathy, a small-time ganja peddler and habitual offender.

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