Four of a family, who reportedly flew in to Hyderabad from abroad a couple of weeks ago, were found murdered inside a lodge in Secunderabad in the small hours of Saturday.

While the family head, Kadali Prasad (40), was lying dead on the floor in one room with a bleeding injury on his head, bodies of his wife, K. Vijayalaxmi (35) and children, K. Ketan (9) and K. Kavitha (10), were on the cots in another room of the RAK Royal Lodge near Secunderabad Raiway Station. The cold-blooded quadruple killings came to light in the early hours when the lodge staff grew suspicious as foul smell began to emanate from the rooms which were locked from the outside.

Police suspect the hand of close relatives in the murders. Two youngsters came to the lodge on Thursday and booked three rooms under the name of Prasad — one of the victims — claiming to be his relatives. Along with the four victims, two other couples checked into the lodge the same night.

It is not yet known when the other couples left the lodge, but the three rooms were found locked from the outside from Friday morning. The lodge manager alerted the police in the early hours of Saturday as inmates of the rooms did not leave the keys at the reception counter. Foul odour from the rooms strengthened their suspicions.

When the police opened the rooms, all four were found murdered. Blood stains in one room suggested that Prasad resisted the killers before being hit on his head with a sharp-edged weapon. After killing him, the murderers went to the second room, hurled chilli powder on his family members and strangled them to death.