A couple killed their four-year-old son before committing suicide at their home in Nagalkeni, near Tambaram, on Wednesday evening.

The Shankar Nagar police said Durga Prasad (30) of Andhra Pradesh, was a contractor in Nagalkeni, a hub of leather tanneries. He was living in a rented house with his wife Uma (25) and their son, Gowtham. Durga Prasad is reported to have run into debt after he was unable to repay large sums of money he had borrowed from money lenders.

On Wednesday, he had promised to pay the monthly rent to his landlord, living near his home in Saraswathypuram, Tiruneermalai Main Road, Nagalkeni.

Around 5 p.m., the landlord came to Durga Prasad’s house and as there was no response, suspected something amiss and called out to neighbours, who in turn informed the Shankar Nagar police.

A team of policemen broke open the door and found the couple and their son hanging from the ceiling of the bedroom. The police said the couple first strangled Gowtham to death before hanging him by a rope, and then hanged themselves.

A case under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has been registered at the police station. Investigations are on to ascertain if Durga Prasad was harassed by usurious money lenders, the police said.

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