Victim was strangled, say police; former domestic help being questioned
A 72-year-old woman was found dead in her home in Anna Nagar, Pammal near Tambaram on Saturday night. Her former domestic help, whom she sacked 18 months ago, is now being questioned by police.
The victim, Yuvana Fernandes, and three of her sisters live in an independent home on Gandhi Street, Anna Nagar. While Yuvana lived alone on the first floor portion, the others were on the ground floor. Every night, Yuvana would have dinner with her sisters.
On Saturday night, she did not come down for dinner. Her sisters waited until11 p.m., and then one of them, Janette, went up to Yuvana’s portion of the home. She found Yuvana lying on the floor, completely still. Janette called the police and also told her close friends.
Shankar Nagar police officers arrived, and rushed Yuvana to the Tambaram Taluk Government Hospital in Chromepet, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. There were no bleeding injuries or marks of assault on her body, police said, adding that she had been strangled to death.
According to her sisters, Sivakumar (37) of Malliga Nagar in Pallavaram was the last person to visit her. Police picked up Sivakumar and are questioning him. They said Sivakumar had been working as a domestic help with the sisters’ for nearly five years. He was sacked 18 months ago, as he had stolen some property from the house.
Following a complaint from the sisters about the theft, a case had been registered and he was remanded to judicial custody. Since his release though, he had visited them a few times urging them to take him and is also reported to have asked them for money.
Police further added that the scene of the crime was intact. There was hardly any jewellery in the victim’s room but the cash was intact and no attempt had been made to take it.
Yuvana and Janette were living with their two other sisters Virginier Rodrigues and Esnettee Hookins.
The Anglo-Indian sisters, according to close relatives, was reserved and hardly interacted with neighbours. They did not come out very often — only to make purchases at shops nearby or to visit their church in Pallavaram. Neighbours and those running stores on their street said the sisters were very close.
The sisters were independent too, and would walk up to Nallathambi Street, before hiring autorickshaws to go anywhere.